Convicted rapists, pedophiles, and child molesters live in most neighborhoods in every Kansas city. In Kansas, they can legally live where they want. Including next to schools.

Parents and state lawmakers have strong opinions on sex offender laws, but because it is such a sensitive subject, many don't want to attach their name or face to what they have to say.

As you walk your kids to school each day, do they know which houses to avoid? Do they know what to do if a stranger approaches them?

A mother's concern about her child's bus stop prompted FactFinder 12 to look into sex offender laws in Kansas.

"It's the fear that one of these guys might drive by, notice that she's there every morning, and start thinking things they shouldn't be thinking about my daughter," the mother said.

State law in Kansas does not require men or women convicted of sex crimes to stay away from schools, meaning sex offenders could be living across the street or next door.

So why do state leaders feel having no restrictions is the safest option? Local lawmakers and sheriff's deputies say their research shows offenders are more compliant when they can live where they want. Public safety leaders say if sex offenders were not allowed to live near schools, there would not be anywhere for them to live in Wichita, legally.

Deputies say they would more than likely do it anyway. They just would not register and would go off the grid, making it difficult for law enforcement or neighbors to keep track of them.

FactFinder 12 wanted to know how Kansas law compares with its surrounding states. Neither Nebraska nor Colorado have state laws that prevent sex offenders from living in certain areas, but both states give cities the option to create restriction ordinances. Kansas does not.

That changes in Missouri, where sex offenders cannot live within 1,000 feet of a school or daycare. In Oklahoma, sex offenders cannot live within 2,000 feet of a school or park.

California, Texas, Kentucky, Florida, and Georgia also have laws keeping sex offenders away from school. All 50 states have a registration tracking system in place.

To see if sex offenders live near your child's bus stop, click here.

To search for offenders near an address in Sedgwick County, click here.