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Approved! DHS too lax on exemptions

by The Oklahoman Editorial Board Published: October 28, 2007
at worse examples might be out there that the public and, more importantly, parents don't know about?

It's obvious this policy needs revisiting. Some of the exemption requests clearly weren't properly vetted, including cases where DHS workers didn't review criminal case records. We'd also suggest more specific criteria about who is and isn't eligible for an exemption. The policy also needs to make sure DHS isn't too reliant on testimonies of those who know the person seeking an exemption. Obviously, no one is going to solicit a negative letter.

And once again, the policy and parental notification must be more transparent. Parents should have easy access to information about granted exemptions, including the full request and information about the subject's crime or crimes.

We understand wanting to give people a second chance. People change. Decades-old crimes or bad decisions made as a youth shouldn't automatically disqualify someone who wants to live in a home that houses a day care.

Such policy, though, must take a distant back seat to child safety. Second chances can't come at the expense of children unable to protect themselves. Caution and transparency must rule the process.

by The Oklahoman Editorial Board
The Oklahoman Editorial Board consists of Gary Pierson, President and CEO of The Oklahoma Publishing Company; Christopher P. Reen, president and publisher of The Oklahoman; Kelly Dyer Fry, editor and vice president of news; Christy Gaylord...
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