Monday, February 17, 2014
In legislative parlance bill SB460 is a "snake". It pretends to create a law from scratch, when we already have one. For example, it is already illegal for a 22 year old full-time teacher to engage in any type of sexual conduct with a 16 year old. It has been illegal since 2006 without any problems.
What SB460/HB781 would do, because of the 7 year gap or what any in gap age would do, is legalize what the General Assembly made crimes in 2006. The vast majority of states protect students from predatory teachers and other school professional, including coaches who prey on students off-campus off-time. They groom them in school where it is a felony to engage in sexual conduct with a student so they can get at them after school where it would be legal if this bill passes. Why do this? There are no gaps in age at all in the current Position of Authority bill. That is why this bill is so terrible. Maryland is going backwards. The only thing this gap does is protect sex offenders in our schools. This bill would even make sexual contact between some 15 year old students and teachers legal where it is not legal now.
21 is current law, so people who think this a change are mistaken. The bill was drafted to make the reader of the bill confuse old law with new law. What would be new law is the 7 year gap whose purpose is to barter the safety of children for adding part-time teachers that the Senate's Judicial Proceedings Committee egregiously amended out in 2006. That horrible amendment resulted in the Montgomery County case.
Teachers have tremendous influence over students. That is why this is not about consent. Parents do not send their children to school to get legally "hit on" by teachers who want to manipulate them for their own sexual gratification.
The question is: Why do the sponsors believe we need to barter the safety of children? What about the House sponsors? They are just as bad and/or just as confused.