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Montgomery Councilmember Rice Testifies in Support of State Anti-Bullying Bill

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, March 1, 2011

ROCKVILLE, Md., March 1, 2011—As a state delegate to the Maryland General Assembly, Craig Rice sponsored a bill that has passed and now requires the State Board of Education to develop a model policy prohibiting bullying, harassment and intimidation in public schools. Since being elected a member of the Montgomery County Council in November 2010, Councilmember Rice has continued his efforts to stop bullying in all Maryland schools. On Feb. 24, he testified at a Maryland General Assembly hearing to support a bill that would impact nonpublic schools that accept state funds in a similar manner.

Councilmember Rice testified in support of House Bill 38, which is sponsored by Del. Jeff Waldstreicher.

Councilmember Rice urged the General Assembly to adopt the proposed supplemental bill that would require nonpublic schools that accept state funds to adopt, by a specified date, a policy that would prohibit bullying, harassment and intimidation. The bill would require the policy to include specified provisions and would encourage nonpublic schools to develop the policy in consultation with specified groups. It also would encourage nonpublic schools to publicize the policy in a specified manner and to provide that specified employees who report acts of bullying, harassment or intimidation are not civilly liable under law.

“I would like to see more of a message to the school system that it is okay to report incidences of bullying and there will not be repercussions,” Councilmember Rice said. "It makes it so imperative that we act quickly. Either we are going to address the problem or we are going to paint a rosy picture. I think it is more important for students who go to all Maryland schools that we address the problem.”

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Release ID: 11-049
Media Contact: Neil Greenberger 240-777-7939, Delphine Harriston 240-777-7931