For those of you who don’t know me, I’m in my late 30s, about six feet tall and male. On occasion, I’ve been known to wander alone down a neighborhood street.

In most days and times, this wouldn’t amount to much. But in today’s environment, I might fit the hazy sex offender profile about to be disseminated by RISD.

Just for the record, I’m not a sex offender. But based on the meager description you’ll be receiving soon, you would have no way of knowing that.

That’s the big problem with RISD’s sex offender notification policy. A little knowledge – perhaps I should say too little knowledge – is going to do a little bit of good and cause a lot more needless worry and heartache in the upcoming months.

Ashley’s Law, a 1995 state statute named after a little girl abducted from a Plano soccer field, requires convicted sex offenders to register with the local police department when they move into town.

So far, so good.

The local police department is required to notify the appropriate school superintendent about the sex offender’s whereabouts. The theory, as I understand it, is that if we know where a sex offender lives, parents and children can exercise greater caution.

Again, so far, so good.

The police department provides the school superintendent with a 32-item list of the convicted sex offender’s personal characteristics, including name, nickname, specific street address, age, criminal history and all kinds of other detailed information.

Even the sex offender’s shoe size is available for those inquiring minds with a hankering to know more.

Still, so far, so good.

Here’s the rub: What, if anything, should the school superintendent do with this juicy information?

In Lake Highlands, RISD’s superintendent will be sending a letter to every family with children attending neighborhood public schools.

Families will be told five things: the sex offender’s age, gender, high school quadrant, offense and ZIP code in which he or she lives. That’s it.

Perhaps a lesson can be learned from our neighbors in the Dallas Public Schools, where Lakewood Elementary Principal Karen Rogers recently distributed virtually the same information in her school’s newsletter in hopes of protecting neighborhood children.

The newsletter informed parents to be careful because a man convicted of sexually assaulting a child lived somewhere on Lake Circle Drive. The Lakewood Homeowners Association picked up the item and republished it in that group’s newsletter.

Now, it doesn’t take much imagination to know what happened next. The news spread like wildfire, and who knows how many children have been forbidden to ever walk near Lake Circle Drive again.

To be honest with you, I’m not sure how I feel about publicizing information about sex offenders. But I am sure of one thing: If we’re going to publicize a little precautionary information, we might as well find out everything – including shoe size, I guess – and just get the sex offender out in the open.

In Lakewood, one convicted criminal has been turned into literally hundreds of suspects.

How much better do you think Lakewood residents are sleeping tonight?