Sex Offenders

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When Rockford makes the switch from school choice to attendance zones this fall, more kids will be within walking distance of their schools. Some parents worry what their kids could encounter along the way.
Registered sex offenders are required to live 500 feet away from any school. But if our kids live a mile and a half or less from school, they have to walk.
Some Rockford parents say those numbers don't line up. There are around 500 registered sex offenders in the Rockford area, any number of which could live along the path from a school to a child's home.
"That's a lot of a kind of a danger zone for our kids, so I'd like the see the bussing start a lot closer, say at 501 feet if they can live at 500 feet," says Rockford Parent Sarah Sommerfield.
Sommerfield says that doesn't entirely solve the problem. Her kid's bus stop used to be across the street from a registered sex offender.
The district's transportation director, Gregg Wilsom moved it when she complained. He says he takes sex offender homes into account when planning bus routes but it's nearly impossible to avoid them completely.
For the locations of registered sex offenders near you, head to