Reporting Kai Jackson
COLUMBIA, Md. (WJZ) — A Super Bowl champion is a champion for victims of cyberbullying. The Ravens’ Ray Rice meets with families in Howard County to raise awareness.
This comes on the heels of a new law, just passed in Annapolis, that makes bullying on social media a crime.
Kai Jackson has more on Rice’s role in preventing this problem.
Bullying has become a big problem and the efforts to stop have grown equally big.
Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice uses his star power to battle the problem of cyberbullying. Rice partnered with Body Armor and Wegmans in Columbia to let kids and families know they’ve got a teammate in the fight.
“A lot of people you know who backed me and my bullying campaigns were people who have had either an experience with it or have finally realized that, ‘Wow, this is pretty amazing and it’s real,’” said Rice.
“When you’re being harassed 24 hours a day, especially within social media, that can really hurt somebody,” said David Messler, Body Armor.
Howard County was the focus of the event in large part because of Grace McComas. She was the Howard County teen who committed suicide after she was bullied online.
Grace McComas took her own life on Easter last year, after repeated cyberbullying through social media websites. Last week, state lawmakers passed Grace’s Law, which makes it a misdemeanor to repeatedly bully someone under 18 online.
Parents say it’s important to ask their children if they’ve been bullied, or if they have bullied someone.
“Are things going on at school? Is somebody bullying you? Are you bullying someone else by just even little things that you say? You could be bullying and not realize that you’re doing that,” said Marisa Pisano, parent.
Fans were all smiles as the Super Bowl winning running back shook hands and took pictures.
For Miguel Moran, Ray Rice’s message has meaning.
Kai Jackson: “If you see one child bullying another child, what do you think the person should do?”
Miguel Moran: “I think the bully should stop.”
Under Grace’s Law, bullying someone under the age of 18 online could mean a $500 fine or even a year in prison.
Some Maryland lawmakers are calling Grace’s Law a landmark piece of legislation.