Maryland’s Governor Wes Moore signed HB 16 into law May 16, 2023. This necessary bill is also known as the Hear Our Voices Act. The bill requires K12 public schools to provide students, faculty, staff, and parents with the following information: (1) who serves as the Title IX coordinator for the school; (2) the process in place for filing a sexual misconduct complaint; and (3) the support measures that are in place for an individual who files a sexual misconduct complaint and how to access those support measures.
This bill is necessary because Title IX, which is federal legislation, contains few requirements that schools must comply with regarding sexual misconduct complaints. In fact, how a school addresses Title IX sexual misconduct complaints is determined by each individual school. As a result, there is no uniformity across the State regarding the process/procedures. Hopefully, with this bill, students will now be equipped with information on how to report sexual misconduct and receive the necessary help they need after reporting.
The bill was sponsored by Delegate J. Lewis and is based in part upon Associate Virginia Grimm’s law school paper detailing Title IX sexual misconduct processes in Maryland and its shortcomings. Virginia Grimm is now an associate at Joseph Greenwald and Laake PA’s Greenbelt office.
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