Bill To Criminalize Failure To Report Child Abuse Passed Up By Maryland House

Contributed by Amaya Starkey

Maryland legislators concluded their 2018 session without approving a notable bill to protect children from child house in schools.

This bill would make it illegal for educators to fail to report suspected child abuse. They hoped to make this an offense that could land someone up to six months in jail.

Because the bill was originally approved by the Maryland senate, it was not endorsed by the state House of Delegates before the end of the session on Monday.

The bill was thwarted mainly due to the disagreements amid supporters about the type of wording that should be included in the bill and what requirements will be upheld for prosecutors to file a case.

NBC Washington reports that Administrators associated with the Baltimore Child Abuse Center and Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Angela Alsobrooks campaigned for new legislation to mandate penalties for failure to report abuse.

Maryland is one of only two states in the nation that does not have criminal penalties for failure to report “suspected child abuse, explained by Baltimore Child Abuse Center Executive Director Adam Rosenberg.

Disagreements over the legislative bill began in early March, when a group of child safety supporters inquiring on whether the bill created unrealistic standards for prosecutors to effectively try a case of failure to report.

Indispensable state legislators have publicly challenged the need for new legislation, noting some of the rules that actually allow the department of eduction to take away teaching licenses from educators.

According to U.S. News, a last year a similar bill attempted to be passed but met the same fate as this recent bill. The news outlet claims he Maryland State Education Association was against the bill last year but said in an email to Capital News Service that this bill “takes a step in the right direction by clarifying reporting requirements.” Which, they added, “will help prevent misreporting that drains resources and distracts from real cases of abuse.”

Many people have been trying to pass a bill such as this for almost ten years. However, the bill  has regained interest due to Deonte Carraway, a 24-year-old school worker in Prince George’s Country who was arrested back in February 2016 for sexual abuse charges.

Carraway was sentenced last August to 75 years in federal prison for 15 counts of sexual exploitation of a minor to produce child pornography. This included 12 children age ranging from 9 to 13 years old.

He was also sentenced to 100 years on 23 counts of sex abuse in Prince George’s Country that ensuing month.

WHUR Contributor

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