Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Press Release: MD Legislators Eliminate Loophole in State Law Regarding School Staff and Teen Sexual Relationships

Two months ago the Parents' Coalition was contacted by advocates for Maryland children. These advocacy groups had been lobbying the Maryland General Assembly for 10 years to close loopholes in Maryland law that have allowed Persons in a Position of Authority to escape prosecution for sexual conduct with teenagers.  One such case occurred in Montgomery County in 2012.  

The Parents' Coalition is gratified to report that on April 7, 2014, the Maryland General Assembly finally passed a bill that begins to address the loopholes that have existed for over a decade in this Maryland law.  

Our Maryland legislators passed a bill that will amend current law to permit Persons in a Position of Authority who are employed or under contract with a public or private preschool, elementary school, or secondary school to be prosecuted for sexual contact with teens.  Part-time employment at a school will no longer be a bar to prosecution under this statute.

Loopholes still remain in Maryland law with regard to volunteers, coaches in programs outside schools, and recreational programs.  These loopholes give persons in positions of authority a free pass to sexually exploit teenagers.
  
The Parents' Coalition appreciated the opportunity to work with outstanding advocates for children including Ellen Mugmon, a long standing child advocate; Eileen King, Executive Director of Child Justice, Inc.; Dr. Wendy Lane, Chair, Child Maltreatment and Foster Care Committee, Maryland Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics; and, Ed Kilcullen, State Director, Maryland CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) Association, to name just a few of the many advocates for children that have worked for over a decade to eliminate these loopholes in this Maryland statute.

We thank Delegate Luke Clippinger, Senator James Brochin, Senator Karen Montgomery, Senator Norman Stone, Delegate Sam Arora, and Delegate Kathleen Dumais, for communicating with the public as this bill made its way through the legislative process.

The Parents' Coalition of Montgomery County, Maryland seeks to achieve the goals of coherent, content-rich curriculum standards; high expectations combined with timely remediation and acceleration; a wider range of educational options for parents and children; greater transparency and accountability; and meaningful community input.

E-mail: contact (at) parentscoalitionmc.com

5 comments:

  1. Pushing the stone up the hill, one loophole at a time. . .

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  2. At this pace it will take a whole century to eliminate all the loopholes.

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  3. Is this based on hearsay? Has anyone seen the actual final bill? Will the governor sign the bill into law?

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    1. The article links to the legislation which says it was passed by the Governor. It's located above in this quote "The Parents' Coalition is gratified to report that on April 7, 2014, the Maryland General Assembly finally passed a bill that begins to address the loopholes that have existed for over a decade in this Maryland law." Here is a direct link to both the law amendment summary, as approved http://mgaleg.maryland.gov/webmga/frmMain.aspx?id=sb0460&stab=01&pid=billpage&tab=subject3&ys=2014RS

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  4. Old too soon and smart too late:
    http://www.wjla.com/articles/2014/04/christopher-huott-laurel-swim-coach-arrested-for-child-abuse-102477.html

    ReplyDelete

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