ANNAPOLIS, MD - Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice made a powerful play Thursday morning, but this one was off the field.
He made a stop in Annapolis for a bill signing on cyberbullying, an issue near to his heart.
"It was important to me to come here for Grace's Law," Rice says. "After I heard the family's tragic story, I was thinking how could we attack bullying, whether it's cyberbullying or anti-bullying."
Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley signed about 200 bills into law including "Grace's Law." It's named after 15-year-old Grace McComas, who committed suicide after being bullied on social media.
"We're gratified with the bill being signed into law and really touched that it has her name. It's a bittersweet feeling because it doesn't bring her back, and we miss her every single day, but we're hoping it will make things better for other children in the future," says Christine McComas, Grace's mom.
Delegate Jon Cardin sponsored Grace's Law and hopes it keeps teens in the state safer.
"We need to make sure that our teenagers and our youngsters all have a place to go where when they open their computer, they don't feel like they're getting punched in the gut every single time," says Cardin, (D) - Baltimore County.
The bill makes it a misdemeanor to bully someone under the age of 18 on social media using a computer or smartphone. People who are convicted of bullying a minor on social media could receive up to a $500 fine or up to one year in prison.
"By getting this bill passed, Grace's Law, this means something to the rest of the world to see that things can change if people want them to change and now it's something that's going to be engraved into the State of Maryland for awhile," Rice says.
Some other bills the governor signed into law include repealing the death penalty and allowing limited use of medical marijuana.
Senator David Brinkley, a two-time cancer survivor, voted for the medical marijuana bill.
"They're really at the end of their rope. They're trying to seek some type of relief. We don't know necessarily that it provides a benefit. Certain patients say that it does, but right now the only place for them to obtain some of this material, this marijuana, is on the black market," says Brinkley, (R) - Frederick County.
The McComas family left Annapolis with the hope other teens in the state may be safer online thanks to the help of a running back with a heart of gold.
Rice, a victim of bullying himself, turned in written testimony for Grace's Law.
To see a full list of bills the governor signed, click here.
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