Monday, February 17, 2014

One step forward

but two steps back.  That's the problem with the legislation proposed by three of the MoCo delegation -  State Senators Jamie Raskin, Jennie Forehand, and Nancy King.  See the bill here.


This isn't a new problem, but one that has been around for a number of years.  So - again, here is my question - why is our legislature wasting their time on something that creates more problems?  Our Maryland legislators are in session only three months of the year - during the rest of the year they research and draft proposals without the clock ticking towards the end of the legislative session.


Yet - this bill, drafted by a senator who is also a law professor at American University, has too many problems.  Is this an inartfully crafted piece of legal writing?  Or is this a loophole that Senator Raskin really doesn't want to solve?


And - why are his co-sponsors so silent? 


Here is a piece from WTOP:


Bill seeks to close sexual-abuse loophole

Monday - 2/17/2014, 5:22am  ET
WASHINGTON - In 2012, Montgomery County police arrested a 47-year-old teacher on charges he engaged in sex with students - but he wasn't prosecuted.  Under Maryland law, because the students were 16 and older, the teacher was a part-time employee and the sex acts didn't occur at the place he coached or taught, no crime had been committed. Child advocates call it "the Saturday- afternoon loophole."  Maryland legislators moved to close that loophole. So Maryland Senator Jamie Raskin crafted a bill to go after teachers and coaches in a variety of settings: Part-time teachers or coaches at public or private schools and gyms would be subject to criminal law if they engaged in sex with a 16- or 17-year-old. (Sex with minors under 16 is a crime in Maryland; this bill covers teens above the age of consent who are under the direction of a teacher or coach.)
But Senate Bill 460 has a loophole of its own: If a teacher or coach is no more than 7 years older than the student they coach or teach, they would not be subject to the law. So a 24-year- old teacher or coach could legally engage in a sexual relationship with a 16- or 17-year-old. While most schools and organizations would find that a fireable offense, it would not be a crime.


Read more at http://www.wtop.com/46/3564472/Bill-seeks-to-close-sexual-abuse-loophole and then ask your Maryland legislators how they intend to solve the problem of sex abuse in Maryland schools.

1 comment:

  1. According the this article, the loophole has become a teenager:
    http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2001-05-25/news/0105250203_1_frederick-county-school-teacher-sexual-contact

    ReplyDelete

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