Grace’s Law 2.0 – introduced March, 2019

Maryland Code, Education § 7-424

(2) “Bullying, harassment, or intimidation” means intentional conduct, including verbal, physical, or written conduct, or an intentional electronic communication, that:

(i) Creates a hostile educational environment by substantially interfering with a student’s educational benefits, opportunities, or performance, or with a student’s physical or psychological well-being and is:

1. Motivated by an actual or a perceived personal characteristic including race, national origin, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, ancestry, physical attributes, socioeconomic status, familial status, or physical or mental ability or disability;  or

2. Threatening or seriously intimidating;  and

(ii) 1. Occurs on school property, at a school activity or event, or on a school bus;  or

2. Substantially disrupts the orderly operation of a school.

(3) “Electronic communication” means a communication transmitted by means of an electronic device, including a telephone, cellular phone, computer, or pager.


Criminal Law – Electronic Harassment and Bullying (Grace’s Law 2.0); (Maryland SB103/HB181). Signed by governor April 18, 2019. “Altering prohibited actions relating to electronic harassment of minors; prohibiting a person from maliciously engaging in an electronic communication if the electronic communication, as part of a series of communications, has the effect of intimidating or harassing a minor and causing physical injury or serious emotional distress to a minor and the person engaging in the electronic communication acts with a certain intent; prohibiting a person from violating the Act with the intent to induce a minor to commit suicide; etc.” Mostly clarified some definitional elements of Grace’s Law. Increased potential penalties to up to 3 years of imprisonment or a fine up to $10,000.

Misuse of Interactive Computer Service (Grace’s Law). Passed legislature 4/2013.  Significantly changed version signed by governor on May 2, 2013. Named after Grace McComas, a high school student who committed suicide in 2012 on Easter after being cyberbullied by a neighbor. “This bill prohibits a person from using an “interactive computer service” to maliciously engage in a course of conduct that inflicts serious emotional distress on a minor or places a minor in reasonable fear of death or serious bodily injury with the intent (1) to kill, injure, harass, or cause serious emotional distress to the minor or (2) to place the minor in reasonable fear of death or serious bodily injury. Violators are guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment for up to one year and/or a $500 maximum fine.”

H.B. 199, 2008 Code §7-424, 7-424.1 Bullying, Harassment and Intimidation;; Up to the schools to establish policy for punishment.