MANOR, Texas (KXAN) — Parents in the Manor Independent School District were upset to discover a convicted sex offender worked their PTO-run school carnival on Friday night.
Bobby Townsend had been convicted of indecency with a 9-year-old girl in 2008. At the Manor Elementary school carnival last week, he was selling funnel cake.
Anyone who volunteers at any school event must pass a criminal background check. But according to a school board member, Townsend wasn’t on the list so he was never looked at. When he showed up that night, no one checked his ID.
“There were a lot of kids running around without parents. I guess anyone could be at risk,” said parent Julie Baumgart.
She was angry that a sex offender worked the carnival without anyone realizing it.
“That’s unacceptable…I have to go through a background check if I want to go on a field trip. Why shouldn’t everyone be checked?”
And the district says they should be.
The school district issued this statement:
It has been brought to the attention of Manor ISD that at a recent campus spring carnival, one of the contractors providing services for the event employed a registered sex offender to assist in the performance of their contractual duties.
The District requires all school contractors and vendors to provide in advance, the names of the individuals who will be on a campus rendering services under the contract. This allows the District the opportunity to run background checks and take appropriate actions to protect students, including barring individuals from the event when necessary. Additionally, registered sex offenders are required by the District to notify school officials of their status upon entering the building. Both requirements were violated, in this case.
Fortunately, no misconduct was reported at the carnival. Law enforcement authorities have been notified and are working with the District on this matter.
When we spoke to Townsend at his home in Elgin, he said “someone” knew he was there at the carnival, but wouldn’t identify the person.
As part of his sentence, he must be a registered sex offender for the rest of his life.
However, he completed his supervised probation in January. That means he did not break the law by working the carnival.