The Expansion of Children’s Advocacy Centers in Maryland

House Bill 1007 and Senate Bill 739 will require the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention (GOCCP) to ensure that every child in the State has access to a child advocacy center; authorize child advocacy centers to assist in the response to certain offenses against children; require child advocacy centers to provide a certain level of care; require GOCCP to contract with a Statewide Organization for child advocacy centers; require money for child advocacy centers to be distributed by the Statewide Organization; and authorize an appropriation in State’s annual budget.

Please support this bill with an email, with an attached letter of support, to your legislators that speaks to the good work your CAC does in your community, not only for the investigation and treatment of allegations but also for the prevention of child sexual abuse.  Don’t hesitate to invite them to visit your center and/or to contact you to learn more about the mission and purpose of a CAC.

Senators on the Judiciary Committee are priorities: 

  • Senator Bob Cassilly
  • Senator Hester
  • Senator Justin Ready
  • Senator Lee and Waldstreicher .
  • Senator Michael Hough

Senators from these counties are also key:

  • Mary Beth Carozza:  Somerset, Worcester, and Wicomico
  • Adelaide C. Eckardt: Caroline, Dorchester, Talbot, and Wicomico
  • George C. Edwards: Garrett, Allegany, and Washington
  • Stephen S. Hershey, Jr.:  Kent, Queen Anne’s, Cecil, and Caroline

And please join us in Annapolis!

The first hearing on SB739 has been set for Wednesday, March 6th at the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee Room, 12 noon to 5:00 pm.  Please plan to join us – or please send your staff members – so that we can show the Senate that we have full support among CAC members.  And, you can bring your service dog!  (They hear many bills that day, so there is no set time when our bill will be called.  Plan on spending the whole afternoon in Annapolis.)

A hearing for HB1007 is set for the Appropriations Committee on March 7th in the House at 1 pm.  Please call or email your House Appropriations members to voice your support for HB1007.

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Support SESAME Legislation!

     

MCA has joined a broad coalition (including the American Academy of Pediatrics, Maryland Association of PTAs, Catholic Conference, and Maryland Associations of Boards of Education) to support S.E.S.A.M.E. (Stop School Employee Sexual Abuse, Misconduct & Exploitation) legislation:  SB 541 / HB 486.

We need all hands on deck to get this bill passed.   The next step in this process is to educate Maryland’s residents on the problem (inadequate vetting of school employees that put students at risk for sexual abuse and misconduct in our schools) and the solution (SB 541/HB 486).

How can you help?  Use the S.E.S.A.M.E Bill Social Media Tool Kit

Sample Posts:

  • As many as 1 in 10 students will be the victim of some form of sexual abuse or misconduct by a school employee by the time they graduate. The S.E.S.A.M.E. Bill (Stop School Employee Sexual Abuse, Misconduct and Exploitation) in Maryland (SB 0541 / HB 0486) was drafted to both keep our children safe and to protect the integrity of schools and the education profession.

 

  • On average, a school employee that has been alleged to have engaged in sexual abuse or misconduct will be transferred to THREE different schools before they are reported to the police.  Fix this system failure and support SB 0541 / HB 0486 in Maryland! The S.E.S.A.M.E. Bill (Stop School Employee Sexual Abuse, Misconduct and Exploitation) keeps our children safe and protect the integrity of the education profession.

 

  • BREAK THE SILENCE! Schools can be legally bound by separation agreements and cannot disclose sexual misconduct or abuse with another school. This means an employee, who has had credible cases of sexual misconduct, can move seamlessly from school to school. We say NO MORE! Fix the system failure and support SB 0541 / HB 0486 in Maryland! The S.E.S.A.M.E. Bill (Stop School Employee Sexual Abuse, Misconduct and Exploitation) was drafted to both keep our children safe and to protect the integrity of schools and the education profession.

 

  • What is school employee sexual misconduct? It includes a wide range of behaviors that include sexual innuendo, inappropriate touching of a student, inappropriate text messaging, emailing or social media contact with a student or soliciting sex from a student. No parent wants their child to experience any of these behaviors by a school employee. We can and should do better for our children!  Support SB 0541 / HB 0486 to keep kids safe in school and to protect the integrity of the education profession. Let’s pass the S.E.S.A.M.E. Bill (Stop School Employee Sexual Abuse, Misconduct and Exploitation)!

 

  • When a business hires, it conducts a comprehensive reference check—why aren’t our schools held to the same standard and granted the same access? The S.E.S.A.M.E. Bill (Stop School Employee Sexual Abuse, Misconduct and Exploitation) SB 0541 / HB 0486 prohibits schools from expunging personnel files in cases of employee sexual misconduct or abuse. It also protects schools from criminal or civil liability when they provide information on employees in good faith.

 

  • Hi everyone. This legislative session, the Maryland General Assembly is hearing a bill (SB541/HB438) that addresses preventing sexual abuse and misconduct in schools. If you have been a victim of sexual abuse or misconduct by a teacher or school personnel in a Maryland public or private school and are comfortable with speaking to me confidentially, please private message me. We would like to ensure that policy changes occur to protect children in Maryland from suffering the same trauma you have faced.

Suggested hashtags:

#HB0486
#SB0486
#takeastand
#SESAMEcampaign
#stopeducatorsexualabuse
#childadvocate
#childsexualabuse
#protectourchildren
#traumainformed
#marylandschools
#breakthesilence
#MDpolitics
#MDGA19

Tags:

On Facebook please tag

@MarylandStateCouncilonChildAbuseandNeglect

Tag your legislators on any posts

On Twitter tag:

@MarylandSCCAN
@paulpinsky
@ericluedtke
@clarencelammd

If you have any questions on how to use the Toolkit, please contact Vanessa Milio who will assist.

Thank you in advance for your efforts to help pass this important legislation to protect Maryland students from school employee sexual abuse and sexual misconduct.