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A father has revealed the shock and humiliation of being mistaken for a sex offender and forced to miss his son’s school performance.

Larry Mitchell and his wife went along to a writers’ café at their 11-year-old son’s school on October 26, but the dad was stopped by security at check in.

After handing security his ID to the staff at the Aurora Hills Middle School in Colorado, US, he noticed people were whispering.

“Eventually, I overheard that my ID had popped up as a match as a sex offender,” Mr Mitchell told Yahoo Lifestyle.

“I tried multiple times to explain that this was a mistake, that I am a teaching artist who visits schools all over the state, that I’ve had at least six background checks since moving to Aurora for various employers, and that I was even background checked for a program in Aurora by the district a couple of years ago,” he explained.

“I’m in schools at least once every two weeks. This has never happened to me. Nothing even close. Never even had to resubmit for any of my background checks.”

Nevertheless, the school informed him that in order to see his son perform he would need to be accompanied by a security guard.

“So, basically, what you have in that moment is me arguing that I’m not a sex offender in front of strangers and people who spend the day with my son and the people in the office publicly asserting that I am a match,” he said.

“A lot of sly smiles. I basically felt like the only one in the room who didn’t think I was a sex offender.

“The other parents were sharing looks with each other that seemed to imply that I was a real pain, and that it’s a shame they had to deal with me.”

The school has released a media statement confirming its security team has since confirmed Mr Mitchell is not on the National Sex Offender Registry.

“Mr Mitchell will not be required to have an escort when he visits his child’s school… Mr Mitchell is always welcome at our school,” APS told Fox in a statement.

Mr Mitchell chose to leave and waited in his car for his wife who he said was “devastated” over the ordeal.

“My son noticed my wife crying during his writers’ café. She also came back to the school and checked him out early for the day, so we could explain what happened.”

Larry shared on Facebook, ” I am embarrassed, angry, and I would like to know what my options are. I would like to know what I need to do to make sure this never happens again. I would like an apology from Aurora Hills Middle School. I had planned to volunteer at the school and really be a part of the public school system that I had decided to move my son back into. This is so disgusting. And the way I was treated by the staff and the principal of the school did not help.”

Poor dad. That is terrible for them all.

Share your comments below

  • It’s a balance – kids need to play in different ways.

    Reply

  • Unfortunately these mistakes do happen – it’s important to prioritise the safety of kids, but surely they could have dealt with this more privately.

    Reply

  • So easily done! My husband (a high school teacher) was positioned in a local supermarket as part of a whole town “amazing race” challenge his school was doing. His role was to give kids money, tell them what to buy and check that they had actually paid for the item. In his 30 mins there he was accused of being a pedophile, a terrorist, a drug mule/gang leader and a thief. Security was even called in to watch him. A woman may or may not have been treated the same

    Reply

  • That’s just horrible, how embarassing.

    Reply

  • How horrible for him but to consider the other side, at least you know the school is trying to protect their students, but that poor guy must have been devastated and humiliated!

    Reply

  • Not only should the school apologise to Mr. Mitchell they should also send a memo to all parents of the pupils that Mr. Mitchell is not guilty of doing anything wrong and should be treated as they would treat any other person. I very much doubt Mr. Mitchell will ever volunteer at the school.
    It is said that all people have a double – every person has another who looks exactly like them. I have been mistaken for somebody else and accused of snubbing somebody. I was a 1 1/2 hour drive away from there with my family.

    Reply

  • How embarrassing and must have been dreadful for all involved.


    • It would have been mortifying for so many reasons.

    Reply

  • Poor guy. I can’t even imagine how bad he must have felt!!!

    Reply

  • This is awful for the man involved.

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  • This is just so horrible to have happened to this poor father and the fact that his son could not have him there is just disappointing

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  • A very unpleasant experience for an innocent person to go through.

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  • What a horrible ordeal for this father and for this family. I hope he did receive an apology at some stage!

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  • How horrible for the whole family.

    Reply

  • I worry about this happening to me all the time. I’m often late to watch the kids do stuff, I’m sure I look suss creeping round out tge back trying to be discreet

    Reply

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