2002 – The Maryland Teacher Technology Standards were approved by the state board of education. It was developed in collaboration with two- and four-year colleges and local school systems. The standards include communicating effectively through technology, understanding legal and ethical issues surrounding technology, integrating technology into curricula and instruction and using assistive technology, among other topics.
2005 – CyberWatch, a Maryland-based Advanced Technology Education Center, started its K-12 cyber-security awareness and information assurance workforce training, which included summer camps, after-school programs, security awareness days, student contests and workshops for counselors. It was originally a consortium of 10 institutions in the Washington, D.C. region and has since expanded.
The state passed a bullying bill for schools. This law required a county board to report incidents of bullying, harassment or intimidation against students attending a public school. Students, parents, guardians, close adult relatives of a student, or a school staff member may report an incident. The state’s Department of Education was mandated to create a standard victim of bullying, harassment, or intimidation report form. The law defines bullying, harassment or intimidation as intentional conduct or intentional electronic communication occurring on school property that creates a hostile educational environment.
2007 – Maryland’s Educational Technology Plan for the New Millennium 2007-2012 envisioned equitable access to the latest modern technologies and a broad range of digital content for students. Implementing the plan involved providing teachers with opportunities for professional development and offering students access to computing equipment. To achieve the overall vision, a key part of the action plan rested on improved student learning through technology, requiring digital content to be integrated into all curriculum subjects as appropriate.
The state showed commitment to improving its Internet safety education in its Technology Literacy Standards, which schedules discussions about online safety issues as early as pre-kindergarten. According to this plan, from Grade 2 through to Grade 8, students will learn how to exit inappropriate websites quickly, practice privacy guidelines, learn about firewalls and netiquette, and why they shouldn’t disclose personal information online.
2009 – The state passed a law encouraging schools to add age-appropriate dating violence education into school health education curricula.
2010– Maryland was awarded $250 million over four years, one of the federal government’s Race To The Top (RTTT) education grants. The RTTT program aimed to boost student achievement, close achievement gaps, turn around struggling schools and improve teaching. Maryland used part of the grant to develop a statewide technology infrastructure and revise the current state curriculum, further incorporating technology into the PreK-12 learning standards.
The same year, the state established new school library curricula for grades PreK-8 and 9-12. The intent of the curricula is to move students from guided instruction to independent information literacy. In this plan, technology is viewed as a tool for interacting with information.
In terms of Internet safety legislation and education, figures from 2010 show that 88 percent of all of Maryland’s public schools have Internet safety policies and procedures for all students and staff, while 95 percent claim to provide lessons in online safety and security.
2011 – The report “Investing in Instructional Technology: Accelerating Education Reform in Maryland” was published, concluding that further funding was required to improve student learning, educator proficiency and equitable access. The report called for legislation that grants an ongoing financial investment in the Maryland Virtual Training Opportunities (MVLO) program, which was established in 2002, in order to provide students with access to online course and rich curriculum content. Further, universal broadband access in all schools alongside sufficient technology support staff would ensure equal access to modern technologies.
2015 – The Student Data Privacy Act was signed by the governor and went into effect. The act requires specified operators of Internet sites, services and applications to protect PreK-12 student information from unauthorized access. These operators are also required to implement and maintain security procedures, and delete student information under certain circumstances, among other provisions designed to protect students.
Baltimore Child Abuse Center
Founded in 1987, the center provides victims of child sexual abuse and trauma in Baltimore, and their non-offending caretakers, with comprehensive forensic interviews, medical treatment and mental health treatment.
CLICKS Initiative (Community Leadership In Cyber Knowledge and Safety)
Launched in 2007, the CLICKS Initiative is aimed at educators, law enforcement and community leaders and its aim is to train them so that they may train and raise awareness among parents and children on the subject of Internet safety.
Maryland Children's Alliance, Inc.
The alliance consists of 21 advocacy centers throughout the state. The nonprofit was created to serve abused and neglected children through empowerment and healing. It provides training, resources and networking opportunities for child abuse professionals and seeks to educate the public.
Maryland Coalition Against Sexual Assault
This organization aims to prevent sexual assault, advocate for accessible, compassionate care for survivors of sexual violence, and hold offenders to account. It works in the areas of public policy, education, community outreach and legal services.
Maryland Crime Victims’ Resource Center
This group works to ensure that crime victims receive justice and are treated with dignity and compassion. It offers victim services, crisis assistance, legal assistance, victim notification, financial help and social services.
Maryland Cybersecurity Center
An academic center at the University of Maryland, MC2 brings together faculty, researchers and students working in cybersecurity across campus. It focuses on research, education and outreach.
Maryland Human Trafficking Task Force
This state organization works to prevent trafficking, protect victims, provide services for victims, prosecute traffickers and partner with other organizations to end human trafficking in Maryland. Its website provides information on human and sex trafficking in the state and relevant legislation.
Maryland Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force
The task force is comprised of police agencies throughout the state and is a division of the Maryland State Police. Its mission is to protect children from computer-facilitated sexual exploitation.
Maryland State Department of Education, Instructional Technology and School Library Media Program
This program in the public school system provides leadership, coordination and support for implementing the state’s technology plan, and for the integration of technology in Maryland schools. It also promotes the growth and development of school library media programs.
Maryland State Department of Education, Student Services and Alternative Programs
This office provides information on bullying in schools. It provides leadership and technical assistance to local school systems to promote safe environments for learning.
MDK12 Digital Library
This digital library delivers content that supports teaching and learning for all students. All participating school districts and schools have access to subscription-based online databases and professional development on how to incorporate these digital resources is provided.
Online Safety and Privacy Unit, Maryland Attorney General
The unit monitors companies to ensure compliance with consumer protection laws. It examines weaknesses in online privacy policies and works alongside industry stakeholders and privacy advocates to educate businesses and consumers about privacy rights.
Ruth H. Young Center for Families and Children
A division within the University of Maryland’s School of Social Work, the center focuses on promoting safety, permanence and stability for children, youth and families through education and training, research and evaluation and service programs.
The Family Tree
A child abuse prevention organization, this nonprofit offers education for parents and community services. It serves as the state’s Parents Anonymous® and Prevent Child Abuse America chapters, and is an affiliate of the National Exchange Club Foundation.
This nonprofit works with adults and children affected by intimate partner and sexual violence. TurnAround has a 24-hour helpline, a victim advocacy program, peer support groups, case management, trauma therapy and other support services. Its goal is to address their needs and prevent future violence through advocacy and education.
United States Attorney’s Office, District of Maryland
Two areas of priority for the state district attorney’s office are Project Safe Childhood and Human Trafficking. Project Safe Childhood is a detailed strategy for combating online child exploitation and abuse, combining law enforcement efforts, community action and public awareness. Partnerships between local, state and national law enforcement in Maryland makes this initiative possible. To combat human trafficking, the district attorney’s office partners with federal and state agencies and nonprofit organizations, in conjunction with the Maryland’s Human Trafficking Task Force and with the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, to free human trafficking victims and prosecute traffickers.
National Human Trafficking Resource Center: Maryland State Report (2015)National Human Trafficking Resource Center
This report compiles 2014 data on human trafficking, including the number of reports made to NHTRC and demographic data on the state's trafficking victims.
Facts about Maryland’s School Library Media Programs, 2013-2014 (2014)J. Bansbach, K. Bellinger
This report compiles statistical data on school library media programs in Maryland.
The State of Online Learning in Maryland, 2010-11 (2011)J. Watson, B. Gemin
The report evaluates online education in Maryland and outlines steps to improve it.
Evaluating Outcomes for At-risk Families Participating in The Family Tree’s Positive Parenting Program: A Retrospective Study, Interim Report (2009)K. Woodruff
This report evaluates the outcomes for at-risk families who participated in the Positive Parenting Program through The Family Tree.
Report on Bullying and Harassment in Maryland Public Schools (2005)Maryland State Department of Education
This report examines school safety, focusing on bullying and harrassment.
This section contains details of the state’s laws as they relate to sexual offenses, children and the use of the Internet in the commission of criminal activity. Where possible, sentence details have been given, including whether an increased custodial penalty is imposed where the victim is a child.
- Maryland Code (MC) §3-303. Rape in the First Degree. This section defines the offense of engaging in vaginal intercourse with another person by force or threat, without the victim’s consent, in one of the following circumstances: the offender used or displayed a dangerous weapon; he/she suffocated, strangled, disfigured or inflicted serious injury on the victim; he/she threatened the victim with death or kidnapping; the crime was committed jointly by more than one person or the crime was committed in connection with a burglary in the first, second or third degree. This felony is punishable by imprisonment for a maximum term of life. Where the victim is under the age of 13, the penalty will be imprisonment for a minimum of 25 years up to life, without the possibility of parole. Where the offense was committed in conjunction with §3-503 (a) (2) (kidnapping of a child under the age of 16) the offender will be liable to imprisonment not exceeding life without the possibility of parole. Subsequent offenses under this section render the offender liable to life imprisonment without parole.
- MC §3-304. Rape in the Second Degree. States that anyone who engages in vaginal intercourse with another person by force or threat, without the victim’s consent, is guilty of rape in the second degree, punishable by imprisonment for up to 20 years. Where the victim is under the age of 13 and the offender is an adult, an aggravated sentence to imprisonment for 15 years up to life will apply. The section also states that it is an offense to have vaginal intercourse with a minor under the age of 14 when the offender is at least four years older than the victim; this also classed as rape in the second degree, punishable by imprisonment for up to 20 years.
- MC §3-305. Sexual Offense in the First Degree. This section states that it is an offense to engage in a sexual act with another person by force or with the threat of force without the consent of the other person in one of the following circumstances: the offender used or displayed a dangerous weapon; he/she suffocated, strangled, disfigured or inflicted serious injury on the victim; he/she threatened the victim with death or kidnapping; the crime was committed jointly by more than one person or the crime was committed in connection with a burglary in the first, second or third degree. This felony is punishable by imprisonment for a maximum term of life. Where the victim is under the age of 13, the penalty will be imprisonment for a minimum of 25 years up to life, without the possibility of parole. Where the offense was committed in conjunction with § 3-503 (a) (2) (kidnapping of a child under the age of 16), the offender will be liable to imprisonment not exceeding life without the possibility of parole. Subsequent offenses under this section render the offender liable to life imprisonment without parole.
- MC §3-306. Sexual Offense in the Second Degree. States that anyone who engages in a sexual act with another person by force or threat, without the victim’s consent, is guilty of a sexual offense in the second degree, punishable by imprisonment for up to 20 years. Where the victim is under the age of 13 and the offender is an adult, an aggravated sentence of imprisonment for 15 years up to life will apply. The section also states that it is an offense to engage in a sexual act with a minor under the age of 14 when the offender is at least four years older than the victim; this also classed as a sexual offense in the second degree, punishable by imprisonment for up to 20 years.
- MC §3-307. Sexual Offense in the Third Degree. Defines the offense as, among other things, engaging in sexual contact with a victim who is under 14 where the offender is at least four years older, or where the child is 14 or 15 and the offender is over 21. Additionally, it is an offense to engage in vaginal intercourse with a person who is 14 or 15 when the other person is over the age of 21. All offenses are punishable with a maximum sentence of 10 years’ imprisonment.
- MC §3-308. Sexual Offense in the Fourth Degree. This section states that a person who is more than four years older than a minor of 14 or 15 (but not over 21) may not engage in sexual contact with that person. Further, a person in a position of authority may not engage in sexual contact with a minor who is at the time enrolled in the school where the person is employed. It is also an offense to engage in sexual contact with another person of any age without their consent. The term of imprisonment is set at not more than one year and/or a fine of up to $1,000. Subsequent convictions are punishable by imprisonment for up to three years and/or a fine of up to $1,000.
- MC § 3-309. Attempted Rape in the First Degree. Imposes a penalty of imprisonment not exceeding life for anyone who attempts to commit rape in the first degree, which is deemed a felony.
- MC § 3-310. Attempted Rape in the Second Degree. Imposes a penalty of up to 20 years’ imprisonment for anyone who attempts to commit the felony offense of rape in the second degree.
- MC § 3-311. Attempted Sexual Offense in the First Degree. States that anyone who attempts to commit a sexual offense in the first degree is guilty of a felony and subject to imprisonment not exceeding life.
- MC § 3-312. Attempted Sexual Offense in the Second Degree. This section states that it is a felony to attempt to commit a sexual offense in the second degree, punishable by imprisonment not exceeding 20 years.
- MC § 3-314. Sexual Conduct between Correctional Employee and Inmate or Confined Child. States that a correctional employee may not engage in vaginal intercourse or a sexual act with an inmate or a person confined in a child care institution, a detention center for juveniles or a facility for juveniles. This offense is a misdemeanor, punishable by no more than three years’ imprisonment and/or a fine not exceeding $3,000.
- MC §3-315. Continuing Course of Conduct with Child. States that it is an offense to engage in a course of conduct that includes three or more acts that would be a violation of the above sections over a period of 90 days with a victim who is under the age of 14. Upon conviction the offender faces up to 30 years’ imprisonment.
- MC §3-324. Sexual Solicitation of Minor. Deems it to be a crime to solicit a minor through, among other defined actions, the Internet or other electronic means, with the intent to commit any of the following: § 3-304 (rape in the second degree), § 3-306 (sexual offense in the second degree), §3-307 (sexual offense in the third degree), §11-304 (receiving earnings of prostitute), §11-305 (abduction of child under 16), or §11-306 (house of prostitution). This is punishable by up to ten years’ imprisonment.
- MC §3-603. Sale of a Minor. States that a person may not sell, barter or trade a minor for money, property or value, or offer to do so. An offense is a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment not to exceed 5 years and/or a fine of up to $10,000 for each violation.
- MC §3-607. Hazing. States that a person may not reckless or intentionally do an act or create a situation that subjects a student to the risk of serious bodily injury for initiation into a student organization of a school, college or university. The implied or express consent to hazing is not a defense under this section. Such an offense is a misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment not to exceed six months and/or a fine not to exceed $500.
- MC §3-802. Stalking. Defines stalking as a malicious course of conduct designed to place the other person in fear of death, sexual assault, rape or serious injury. The maximum sentence for this is five years’ imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $5,000.
- MC §3-803. Harassment. This section states that it is an offense to follow or engage in a course of conduct that alarms or significantly annoys another with intent to harass, alarm or annoy. This is punishable by up to 90 days’ imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $500.
- MC §3-805. Misuse of Interactive Computer Service (Grace’s Law). Prohibits a person from using an “interactive computer service” to maliciously engage in a course of conduct that inflicts serious emotional distress on a minor or places a minor in reasonable fear of death or serious bodily injury with the intent (1) to kill, injure, harass, or cause serious emotional distress to the minor or (2) to place the minor in reasonable fear of death or serious bodily injury. Violators are guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment for up to one year and/or a $500 maximum fine.
- MC §3-809. Revenge Porn Prohibited. States that a person may not intentionally cause serious emotional distress to another by intentionally posting on the the Internet a photograph, film, video, recording or other reproduction of the image of the other person that reveals the other person’s identity with his/her intimate parts exposed or while he/she is engaged in an act of sexual contact. This offense occurs when the other person did not consent to the placement of the image on the Internet and he/she had a reasonable expectation that the image would remain private. A violation is a misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment not to exceed two years and/or a fine not to exceed $5,000.
- MC §3-901. Visual Surveillance. States that a person may not conduct visual surveillance using, among other methods, a camera or electronic device on a person in a private place without consent. The punishment for this is imprisonment for 30 days or less and/or a fine of up to $1,000.
- MC §3-902. Visual Surveillance with Prurient Intent. A person with prurient intent may not conduct surveillance when the victim is in a private place, using a wide variety of means, on a person’s private area (for example genitals or breasts) without their consent. An offender may be sentenced to one year’s imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $2,500.
- MC §11-102. Adult Sexual Displays - Selling or Offering to Sell to Minor. This section states, among other things, that it is an offense to sell or offer to sell to a minor any picture, photograph, book or other material that depicts sadomasochistic abuse, sexual conduct or sexual excitement. Upon conviction a person may be imprisoned for up to six months and/or liable to a fine of up to $1,000.
- MC §11-103. Adult Sexual Displays – Exhibition to Minors. States, among other things, that a person may not exhibit to an unaccompanied minor a motion picture or show that depicts or reveals sadomasochistic abuse, sexual conduct, sexual excitement or obscene material in return for consideration. The penalty for this offense is up to six months’ imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $1,000.
- MC §11-104. Adult Sexual Displays – Allowing Minors to Enter or Remain on Premises. This section states that where someone with knowledge of the activity that is occurring, listed in §11-102, allows an unaccompanied minor to remain on the premises, then they are guilty of an offense and may be sentenced to six months’ imprisonment and/or a fine of $1,000.
- MC §11-107. Indecent Exposure. Constitutes that where a person is convicted of indecent exposure they are liable to be imprisoned for up to three years and/or fined up to $1,000.
- MC §11-202. Obscene Matter - Distribution, Exhibition, Importation and Publication. This section states that it is an offense to send into or cause to be sent, bring into or cause to be brought into the State any matter deemed to be obscene for sale or distribution. It is also an offense to publish, prepare, print, exhibit, distribute or possess it with intent to distribute it. For a first offense the term of imprisonment is up to one year and/or a fine of up to $1,000. Subsequent offenses raise the term to three years and/or a maximum fine of $5,000.
- MC §11-203. Sale or Display of Obscene Item to Minor. Defines the offense of intentionally or knowingly displaying to a minor content principally made up of an obscene description or depiction of illicit sex, or that that consists of an obscene picture of a nude or partially nude figure. It is also an offense to engage in the business of displaying, exhibiting, selling, showing, advertising for sale, or distributing to a minor such an item. This is punishable by a term of up to three years’ imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $5,000 for repeated violations, and one year’s imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $1,000 for the first infraction.
- MC §11-207. Child Pornography. States that a person may not cause, induce, allow or solicit a minor to engage in, as the subject of, sadomasochistic abuse or sexual conduct. It is also an offense to photograph, describe or promote this obscene conduct by a minor. Furthermore, under this section it is a crime to use a computer to transmit, compile, enter, make, print, publish, reproduce, cause, allow, buy, sell, receive, exchange, or disseminate any descriptive or identifying information about a minor for the purpose of soliciting them to take part in these acts. The offense of child pornography also encompasses using a computer to depict or describe a minor engaging in such an act. A conviction under this section incurs up to ten years’ imprisonment or a maximum fine of $25,000, and subsequent offenses incur up to 20 years in prison or a fine of up to $50,000.
- MC §11-208. Possession of Visual Representation of Child under 16 Engaged in Certain Sexual Acts. It is an offense to possess and intentionally retain film, videotape or other visual representation of a child under 16 engaged in sadomasochistic abuse, sexual conduct or in a state of sexual excitement. Those who are found guilty of this section face up to five years’ imprisonment and/or a maximum fine of $5,000. A second offense incurs a sentence of up to 10 years and/or a fine of up to $10,000.
- MC § 11-208.1. Removal of Child Pornography from Internet. This section states that upon receiving information of alleged child pornography and passing it on to the responsible Internet service provider, the latter is required to remove it within five business days. Failure to comply with this requirement will lead to a fine of up to $5,000. A second violation carries a penalty of $20,000 and every subsequent violation will render the offender liable to a fine of up to $30,000.
- MC §11-209. Hiring Minor for Prohibited Purpose. Defines the offense of hiring or employing a minor to participate in obscene conduct. This is punishable by a term of imprisonment of up to one year and/or a maximum fine of $1,000 for the first offense and three years and/or a fine of up to $5,000 for subsequent violations.
- MC §11-303. Human Trafficking. States that a person may not knowingly (1) take or cause someone to be taken into a place for prostitution; (2) place, cause to be taken or harbor another in a place for prostitution; (3) persuade, induce, entice or encourage another to be taken to or placed in a place for prostitution; (4) receive compensation to procure or place someone in a house of prostitution or elsewhere with the intent of causing them to engage in prostitution; (5) engage in a device, scheme or course of conduct to cause another to belief that if the person held did not take part in a sexually explicit performance, the person held or another person would suffer physical harm; (6) destroy, conceal, confiscate or possess an actual or purported passport, immigration document or identification document while violating another part of this subsection. Parents or guardians cannot consent to the taking of a person in their custody for prostitution. A person may not knowingly take a person with with the intent to use force, threat or coercion to compel the other to marry him/her or a third person, or to perform a sexual act, sexual contact or vaginal intercourse. When the person trafficked is a minor this is a felony punishable by imprisonment not exceeding 25 years and/or a fine not exceeding $15,000.
- MC §11-305. Abduction a Child Under 16 for Prostitution. States that a person may not persuade, entice or aid in the persuasion or enticement of an individual under the age of 16 from his/her home or from the custody or his/her parents/guardian, and knowingly secrete or harbor the individual for the purpose of prostitution. A violation is a felony punishable by imprisonment not to exceed 25 years and/or a fine of up to $5,000.
- MC §14-3504. Maryland Personal Information Protection Act. This law requires that businesses owning or licensing computerized data that includes personal information of an individual residing in the state must conduct a reasonable and prompt investigation of a security breach to determine the likelihood that personal information of the individual has not or will not be misused as a result of the breach. If the individual’s personal information has been or is likely to be misused as a result of the breach, the individual must be notified.
- MC §14-3704. Online Child Safety Act. This section requires Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to make parental controls available to subscribers, subject to a fee if they choose to levy one.