Parents with felony convictions petitioning to volunteer with Oklahoma City school district

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OKLAHOMA CITY -- Some parents in the Oklahoma City Public School District are pushing for a change.

Currently, if you have a felony conviction, you can't volunteer with the district.

“Research shows that many parents from low-income communities have felonies, which limit their ability to participate in school involvement,” said Stacey Lacour, a parent in Oklahoma City Public Schools.

Lacour spoke in front of the Oklahoma City Public School Board just three weeks ago in order to save her kids' school, North Highland Elementary.

Now, she's asking board members to give parents with felonies a second chance as well.

“Many of us stopped participating in our children's education. For our schools to succeed and flourish, there must be more involvement than just the staff and faculty,” Lacour said.

Currently, anyone who has a felony conviction or has received a deferred sentence after being charged with a felony is prohibited from serving as a volunteer in their kids' school.

“We heard about it as a concern from staff members and parents that it was too restrictive,” said Carrie Coppernoll Jacobs, District 3 school board member.

School board members are looking to overturn that old policy by allowing parents with felony convictions to volunteer in the district.

However, it does come with restrictions.

“People who have convictions of crimes against children, other types of violence, they won't be allowed,” Coppernoll Jacobs said.

Under the proposed change, misdemeanor convictions or deferred sentences that involve dishonesty, fraud, drug and alcohol offenses and are at least three years old will require additional district review.

“I'm a criminal defense attorney. I've also served as a special judge and I do believe in second chances,” said Charles Henry, District 1 school board member.

Board members are optimistic the policy will pass.

It will be up for a vote July 24.

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