REMEMBER G.R.A.C.E. McCOMAS
Give Respect And Compassion to Everyone!
In a world that sometimes seems to get more cold and divisive by the day, Grace Katherine McComas was a bright light.
Joyful, funny and sweet, Grace was known for her good humor and kind heart. The first to welcome a newcomer, she was empathetic to the needs of people and other living things. An engaging and articulate teen, Grace was active in music, sports and community service.
This video was put together by her father David the week of her death...
At age 14, everything changed for her and her family on a summer evening in June, after a drug-assisted sexual assault, later followed by hateful, malicious and threatening cyber abuse, sexual harassment and bullying.
Grace's family knew what was happening, and tried to get help from multiple public agencies who frankly not only failed to help properly, but have attempted to hide their negligence.
Grace died by suicide at age 15 on Easter Sunday 2012.
Grace K. McComas Memorial Webpage
Maryland's Grace's Law now protects children from
repeated, malicious cyberbullying.
For several years, the Howard County Public School System in Maryland refused to mention anything about Grace, including this law or allow any kind of remembrance. Even her school records, detailing the last year of her life were withheld from her family.
While fighting for her child's voice to be heard, Christine McComas met wonderful, determined mothers/advocates who were also being denied truth and transparency from the school system. One of these was Barb Krupiarz, a great champion of the special ed community. After being denied the results of a $300,000 taxpayer funded special ed study (in fact she was told there were no results) she went to court to have it released, and instead was punished/fined in a retaliatory way- almost $10,000 !
(See this link : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e9YxG79Ctks)
Christine and Barb both testified at a public hearing in December 2015 in support of a bill to have the Maryland Public Access Ombudsman look into
public information denials by the school system since the (now former)Superintendent was hired.
They met when Christine asked Barb to hold
Grace's picture while she testified, well after midnight, and the bill was passed by the Maryland legislature a few months later. The report from the investigation ( www.marylandattorneygeneral.gov/OpenGov%20Documents/PAO/Final%20HB%201105%20report.pdf )
found serious violations in public information compliance by HCPSS.
At the sudden 'retirement' of the former Superintendent, new leadership at the helm of HCPSS has begun righting wrongs, and the first of which is Barb Krupiarz getting her money back. She shocked the McComas family by immediately saying she wanted to put it towards a scholarship to honor and remember Grace!! Truly an unexpected, generous and GRACIOUS kindness to come out of a dark and difficult experience many had trying to bring about truth. GOOD WINS.
Barb Krupiarz and Grace's mom Christine met with the Community Foundation of Howard County to learn about how a scholarship is set up and managed.In order to have a scholarship presented in Grace's name every year, the Howard County Community Foundation scholarship fund requires $20,000, plus an initial
"cushion" to keep the levels above $20K.
The McComas family is adding $5,000 that community members had donated to a memorial fund upon her death, in addition to the $9,300 of Barb's 'sanction money'.
We are hoping for community
donations of $10,000 to have Grace remembered by a school system who did
not help her and to provide scholarships to students who exemplify and encourage kindness.
Christine and Barb are also planning to create a nonprofit organization to advocate and educate about G.R.A.C.E. and those issues related to peace, hope and needed social change.
Any money donated above the $10,000 will go towards the creation of this organization.
Imagine what this world could be if the inherent dignity of each human was respected and cared for.
Join Us! and Thank you!