The Washington Post reports today that “Virginia’s public and private colleges and universities soon will be required to submit the names and Social Security numbers of tens of thousands of students they accept each year to state police for cross-checking against sexual offender registries.” The law, recently signed by Gov. Tim Kaine, is aimed at tracking sex offenders. It “also requires Department of Motor Vehicles officials to turn over personal information to police any time a Virginian applies for a license or change of address.”
“I’ve got two kids in college right now,” said Kenneth W. Stolle (R-Virginia Beach), the bill’s chief sponsor in the state Senate. “You’re going to have a … hard time explaining to me why my daughter is living next door to a sexual offender. My guess is every parent out there would have the same expectation that I do.”
Since it doesn’t take more than a stolen laptop to put 2.2 million identities in jeopardy, and since one person’s Social Security number can be used fraudulently by up to 80 different people, I’m not sure I want my information spread any wider than it already has to be. And it’s not clear to me why I, an innocent (I assure you) private citizen is forced to get a background check before I can enroll in a private institution, which may otherwise not care about my background. If your daughter is living next to a ex-offender, it’s because that’s life. What’s next? Legislating safety scissors and circles of paper?