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Victim’s family relieved at juvenile sex offenders bill

By MALLORY MOENCH, Associated Press

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Police will have to notify school superintendents about juvenile sex offenders — and courts will consider alternative schooling — after a bill named for a child victim won approval in a final House vote.

Thursday’s vote on “Annalyn’s Law” was 76-18.

Six-year-old Annalyn Cook was molested by the 14-year-old son of a Prattville school employee in 2014. The boy was convicted and withdrew from school for a year. He returned to classes where he interacted with Annalyn’s brother, led campus tours and won a spirit award. Existing law did not require superintendents to be notified of the conviction.

The Cooks reached out to Republican state Sen. Clyde Chambliss, who introduced legislation to change policy. Critics worried that separating offenders would be a “scarlet letter” for juveniles.

The family celebrated the bill’s passage with relief.
This story has been clarified to remove a line that said the superintendent didn’t notify the principal. That was not the responsibility of the superintendent at the time.

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