WDAY.com

WDAZ: Your Home Team

Published February 10, 2012, 10:36 PM

Sex offender enrolled at Fargo high school

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - It could be anybody. A parent, a neighbor, a friend or even a student. A neighborhood is now concerned after learning a sex offender is enrolled at Fargo South High School.

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - It could be anybody. A parent, a neighbor, a friend or even a student. A neighborhood is now concerned after learning a sex offender is enrolled at Fargo South High School.

“Anytime we have registered sex offenders attending our schools, you can be assured there is heightened level of supervision for that student,” Fargo superintendent Dr. Rick Buresh said.

In January, flyers were handed out in south Fargo neighborhoods notifying parents and neighbors that 15-year-old Michael Bell had moved to the area.

All police can say is Bell was convicted of criminal sexual conduct in June 2010 in Otter Tail County with a victim under the age of 15.

“The schools, we work hand in hand with them every day to ensure the safety of every child in our community," Fargo police lieutenant Joel Vettel said.

Bell is considered a level two sex offender but at 15 years old, officials say he has the same rights as everyone else, and that includes the right to a free public education.

“That's something the schools deem necessary in this situation where we have someone that's a known offender. They have the right to go to school,” Vettel said.

More than 170 people are registered as sex offenders in Fargo. Superintendent Buresh says in he's dealt with three such cases of student sex offenders during his tenure.

“The people that were in a position to know felt he could be adequately monitored and supervised that wouldn't put other kids at risk,” Buresh said.

Bell will have to register as a sex offender for the next 25 years ending August 17, 2035.

Bell is currently the only known sex offender enrolled at Fargo Public Schools. There is no evidence he's been a danger to others or caused any problems while attending Fargo South.

At Bell's listed address, a woman who answered the door refused an interview.

Tags: