Earlier this week, 12-year old Baily O’Neill, a student at Derby Township School in Pennsylvania, was beaten so badly he had to be placed in a medically induced coma. Tragically he died of his injuries.
Rice mourned O’Neill’s death and posted this message on his Facebook page:
“I don’t know if we will ever get to a point where bullying is actually considered a CRIME, rather than ‘kids being kids’ or a ‘playground incident.’ … But, I DO KNOW THIS: I will NOT give up my fight. Every day I will continue to fight AGAINST bullying and fight FOR kindness.”
Thursday he joined Maryland lawmakers to push for the passing of the Cyberbullying Prevention Act. The act, introduced by Baltimore County Delegate Jon Cardin, would prevent people from using the Internet to threaten minors.
Under the bill violators would be charged with a misdemeanor, if prosecuted, violators would serve a year in prison and/or face a $500 fine.
Rice asked his fans for help and encouraged them to speak out at the hearing.
Last summer Rice held an anti-bullying rally, “A Ray of Hope”, at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Maryland.
Rice said of Bailey:
“Bailey – my little buddy, I will not let you become just another bully statistic,” Rice wrote. “You are my inspiration and one more angel that will help me continue the fight for kids everywhere. You are going to help me save lives. RIP my little friend.”
Sadly it seems like bullying is constantly in the news. I am proud of Ray Rice for stepping up in the fight against bullying. He is a positive role model with the potential to influence many. Keep up the good work.