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Statutes Text

Article - Education


    (a)    (1)    In this section the following words have the meanings indicated.

        (2)    “Child sexual abuse” means an act by an adult involving a minor or a student that constitutes a sexual offense under the laws of the State, or any sexual contact between an adult and a minor.

        (3)    “Sexual misconduct” means an act by an adult, including an oral, nonverbal, written, or electronic communication, or a physical activity directed toward or with a minor that is designed to promote a romantic or sexual relationship with the minor, including:

            (i)    Sexual or romantic invitation;

            (ii)    Dating or soliciting dates;

            (iii)    Engaging in sexualized or romantic dialogue;

            (iv)    Making sexually suggestive comments;

            (v)    Grooming behaviors;

            (vi)    Self–disclosure or physical exposure of a sexual, romantic, or erotic nature; and

            (vii)    A sexual, indecent, romantic, or erotic contact with the minor.

    (b)    (1)    A county board or nonpublic school that receives State funds shall require each employee to receive instruction annually on the prevention, identification, and reporting of child sexual abuse.

        (2)    The instruction described in paragraph (1) of this subsection shall include comprehensive training and information to help employees to:

            (i)    Recognize sexual misconduct in adults;

            (ii)    Recognize and appropriately respond to sexually inappropriate, coercive, or abusive behaviors among minors;

            (iii)    Recognize behaviors and verbal cues that could indicate a minor has been a victim of child sexual abuse; and

            (iv)    Respond to disclosures by minors or their parents or guardians of child sexual abuse or reports of boundary–violating behaviors of adults or minors in a supportive and appropriate manner that meets mandated reporting requirements under State law.

    (c)    (1)    Each county board shall establish and implement policies that support the prevention of child sexual abuse through ongoing training of staff regarding:

            (i)    Behavior that constitutes adult perpetration;

            (ii)    Reporting obligations and procedures; and

            (iii)    For staff involved in the hiring process, comprehensive screening of prospective employees.

        (2)    The county board shall develop employee codes of conduct that address appropriate contact between staff and students.

    (d)    (1)    Each employee shall complete the instruction and training described in subsection (b) of this section on an annual basis.

        (2)    The instruction and training under this section:

            (i)    May include in–person or e–learning instruction and training; and

            (ii)    Shall be periodically reviewed and updated.

    (e)    (1)    On or before December 1, 2018, the Interagency Committee on School Construction and the State Council on Child Abuse and Neglect jointly shall develop guidelines and best practices for the assessment and modification of physical facilities and spaces to reduce opportunities for child sexual abuse.

        (2)    Beginning in the 2019–2020 school year, each county board shall develop policies and procedures on the use and modification of physical facilities and spaces to reduce opportunities for child sexual abuse.

    (f)    Each county board shall make information about the training opportunities described in this section available to parents, legal guardians, and other interested persons in the community.

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