Bill To Prevent Juvenile Sex Offenders From Attending Md. Public Schools Is Before General Assembly

It follows reports of such an offender attending a Baltimore city school.

Delegate Nino Mangione, Baltimore County  (Photo from Md. General Assembly)

Annapolis, Md (KM) Juvenile sex offenders would be prohibited from attending Maryland’s public schools under a bill sponsored by Delegate Nino Mangione  of Baltimore County. He says this legislation follows reports of a juvenile convicted of raping a three-year-old and a  two-year-old.   As part of his punishment, he was told to attend school.   Mangione says this young person was enrolled at Patterson High School in Baltimore city.

“So you have a sexual predator told that he had to attend school with what, 14-year-old girls. and no one in the school knew about it; none of the parents knew about it,” he says. “So I put forth this bill because I think we have to ask ourselves a very simple question: as the Governor, as the General Assembly, are we committed to protecting our school children.”

Mangione says this bill, if it passes, would not prevent juvenile sex offenders from taking remote classes, or be home-schooled.

He says this is not a partisan bill. He says Republicans and Democrats can work together to keep children safe. “The Governor said he wanted to do something about it.. Senator {Bill} Ferguson said he wanted to do something about. And I’m the only one with a bill here, the actual text of the bill that’s being proposed,” says Mangione.

Senator Bill Ferguson is President of the Maryland Senate.

Delegate Mangione says he realizes that juvenile criminal records are difficult to obtain so it may be almost impossible for a school system to find out about a student’s past. “They’ll know that this is a child here who has committed these acts. The court system and everybody will have to get involved and make sure that this doesn’t happen as a result of this bill.  So that’s what  we have to figure out the nuance. That will be up to the professionals–the legal professionals–to get that figured out,” says Mangione.

Right now, the bill is before the Rules and Executive Nominations Committee because it was introduced past the deadline to bring legislation before the House of Delegates.  Mangione hopes it will receive “quick action” by the Committee.

“My concerns are with the victim, and it’s not with the perpetrator who in this case has committed such horrifying and heinous acts,” he says. “And I couldn’t sit by and sit back and not take action to prevent this person or others like him from ever attending schools and potentially destroying another girl’s life.”

By Kevin McManus