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Maryland House Passes New Safe Schools Act

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By Meymo Lyons

In Maryland, educators and police may soon be required to share more information about students who may be involved in gang activity.

The bill passed despite cries from privacy advocates concerned that good students could get a bad name.

The House of Delegates voted 139-0 to approve the "The Safe Schools Act of 2110." The bill would require the Maryland State Board of Education to develop a statewide policy for gang intervention, prevention and suppression that would include teacher training.

Currently, each school system deals with gang activity differently. The legislation, sponsored by House Speaker Michael Busch, comes after a 14-year-old boy from Crofton was beaten to death last year in an allegedly gang-related incident.

It requires educators and law enforcement to report the arrests of students for certain offenses to school personnel. The idea is to increase awareness about students committing crimes that could indicate gang membership. The measure now goes to the Senate.

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