Texas Lawmakers Propose Anti-Cyber Bullying ‘David’s Law’

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ARLINGTON (CBS11) – State lawmakers are delving into cyber space to deal with bullies. A proposed new law would regulate how schools deal with bullies online and in schools.

The law would be named after a teen who was so tortured by online bullies he killed himself.

Sixteen-year-old David Molak of San Antonio committed suicide after enduring months of cyber bullying. His family said the day he killed himself, he’d been the butt of cruel text message sent by his peers.

“For people that get their satisfaction out of dimming the lights of others they need to know that sometimes those lights just don’t come back on,” said his father Matt Molak.

The proposed new law would be named David’s Law, after the teen.

Among other things, it would require all schools in Texas put policies in place against bullying and cyber bullying.

It would require schools to contact parents within 24 hours of their child being bullied and allow law enforcement to get subpoenas to unmask anonymous cyber bullies to reveal their identity.

“We want to make sure that our students are protected both inside and outside the school,” said Arlington ISD Communications Director Leslie Johnston. “This law will reinforce what we already have in place.”

Right now, school districts like Arlington ISD have had to decide on their own what the anti-bullying policies would be. The new law would set statewide standards.

Arlington, for instance, has defined what it considers bullying and punishments for it, but David’s Law would give them more reach to pursue bullies off campus.

“We have some authority off campus just because if it affects students on campus then that is something we can control somewhat,” Johnston said. “So this will give us a little more authority than what we currently have.”

(©2017 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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