PARKVILLE, Md. (WJZ) — Lawmakers have proposed a bill that would ban registered sex offenders from enrolling in any public school in Maryland.
The bill comes after outrage surrounding the enrollment of a convicted sex offender at a Baltimore County school who’s charged with raping a student last year.
Santino Sudano, 21, pleaded guilty to a fourth-degree sex offense charged in 2018 but was later granted permission from staff at Parkville High School to take classes there. He’s now charged with raping a student in December 2019.
“The student had a right to an education, and a lot of different security protocols were put in place to make sure this happened,” schools spokesperson Brandon Oland said.
Under current state law, a sex offender can attend a public school with written permission from school leaders.
Despite that, parents are outraged Sudano was allowed to take classes at Parkville High School. He was enrolled at the school for two years because it was close to where he lived, officials said.
Superintendent Darryl Williams, a father of three, said he would have been concerned as well if he were in their shoes.
“We will take everything seriously and sit down and analyze to make the best decision for the student and those interacting with that student,” he said.
County Executive Johnny Olszewski said he can’t speak as to why the decision was made but said the legislation will hopefully prevent a similar issue in the future.
“It happened within the legal limitations of the law and we have identified a gap and that’s what we are hoping to address with this bill,” he said.
Lawmakers plan to officially introduce the legislation in the near future.