Cumberland Times-News

Local News

January 4, 2013

School board to talk sexual predators, bomb threat penalties

CUMBERLAND — Two meetings are slated for the coming week by the Allegany County Board of Education to cover a host of topics from standards for participation in sports to security issues ranging from bomb threat penalties to trespassing by sexual predators.

The first meeting at 2 p.m. Monday will focus on a topic discussed in a legislative breakfast in November regarding the prosecution of those age 13 and older as an adult for making bomb threats.

The prosecution of a minor as an adult was made a legislative priority for Allegany and Garrett counties’ public schools and is being moved forward for consideration.

“We want to continue the discussion for a stronger deterrent for the crime,” said Allegany County Superintendent of Schools David Cox.

Allegany County State’s Attorney Mike Twigg and all four members of the District 1 legislative delegation have been invited to the Monday meeting at the Central Office on Washington Street.

The second board meeting will be the regular monthly meeting Tuesday. A work session will begin at 5 p.m. followed by a business meeting at 7 p.m.

Topics slated for discussion in the work session include a review of school security.

In light of the school shooting tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., security has been a prominent issue for school systems everywhere.

“It’s very important to continue reviewing security measures. I believe there will be some legislation on this in the future,” Cox said.

The security review will also include a discussion on the ability of sexual predators to be on a school’s property.

“As we saw with K2 (synthetic marijuana), we needed to have local ordinances on it. Right now there is no local ordinance against sexual predators being on school property,” Cox said.

Cox referenced a recent incident involving a person who was a registered sex offender who reportedly was at a local school taking pictures.

Another topic for discussion during the work session is the minimum standards for participation in sports.

“This will go over the rules for dealing with alcohol and drug violations,” said interim Chief Academic Officer Karen Bundy.

The standards will apply to boys and girls in all sports, said Bundy.

The accessibility of those with disabilities who are participating in field trips is also slated for discussion.

Greg Larry can be contacted at glarry@times-news.com.

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