Blue for Grace

My Name is Dedrick and I wear Blue For Grace. While I did not personally know her, I know her mothe well. Per her Mrs. McComas accounts, Grace was a bright light from birth. Nevertheless Grace unfortunately endured a litany of extreme harassment, bullying, and abuse.  She was drugged and sexually assaulted by an older male student who attended her school.  This assault was followed by months of character assassination, bullying, cyber-bullying, harassment, and slander.

The sister of her assailant confided in a teacher what had occurred.  The teacher responded accordingly by filing a report with the counseling center.  Both families were subsequently notified.  Mrs. McComa’s informed me that she engaged in a form of phone tag with the respective counselor thereafter. The matter unfortunately went unresolved as it was the end of the school year.  Mrs. McComa’s reported that she attempted to follow-up with the counselor again when school commenced; however, the counselor never returned her calls.

Grace was supoenaed to appear as the plaintiff against her assailant shortly thereafter.  Per Mrs. McComas they then became aware of an awful, malicious, dehumanizing, sexually-tinged form cyberbullying  that was aimed at her through discovery and interrogatories.  Comments purportedly included,

“I hatehatehatehatehatehatehate you. Next time my name rolls off your tongue, choke on it and DIE”, “Snitches I will kill you.”   with each remark being reported to school officials. In another incident, she incidentally choked on a sip of water while riding the school bus.  A male student yelled from the back of the bus, “What’s the matter Grace, you got someone’s DICK stuck in your throat?? You know who’s!”  to the laughter of other boys saying ‘what?’ ‘whose?’ !” These incidents were also reported to the school.  However nothing was done about this as the Howard County Anti-bullying law then lacked provisions to account for Cyber-bullying at the time.Grace naturally became sullen, distant, and depressed per her mothers account.  She subsequently made the decision to end her own life on Easter Sunday in 2012.  Having done so, she might have thought it was the only way for her mother’s pain to end. Perhaps she even thought it was the only way for her pain to end.  Instead of letting this break her, Mrs. McComas took action to work with legislators across the state of Maryland to implement a new law called Grace’s Law. Grace’s Law is a law that prevents cyber-bullying and the use of technology to harass others and communicate threats.  This cyber-bullying law was a landmark victory as it was the first in Maryland yet alone the nation.  The state of New Jersey soon followed suit in adopting Grace’s Law as well.

While the law is on the books in per Howard County Board of Education Policy 1060, Howard County Public Schools is still not doing enough to recognize, promote, and fully implement the law however.  Hence children and families are still being exposed to bullying, sexual harassment, physical assault, verbal assault, and harassment all together. As a matter of fact, I would have been able to better protect my daughter from the scourge of bullying, harassment, and assault that she endured had I known about the law.  It’s a bit trivial in a sense as I know about it now. I also know her mother very well and she is a jewel of a lady, mom, wife, friend, and advocate for all of our children. While I am saddened that Grace decided to take her own life, I take joy in knowing that it was not in vain as she is sitting at God’s hand smiling down on each child across this nation.  Thank you for your sacrifices to all of the children and families in not only Howard County but across this Nation Mrs. McComas and Grace. I humbly salute you both while also keeping you in my prayers.

My Name Is Dedrick Moone and I wear BLUE FOR GRACE. The question is will you? nYou can do so by contacting your local and state legislators and letting them know as a community that you are taking a stand against bullying. Share Grace’s story. Share Grace’s Law and have your state adopt this landmark legislation as well.
Blue for Grace

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