David's Law passes 31-0 in Texas Senate, moves to House
AUSTIN - The Texas Senate voted unanimously 31-0 to approve SB 179, also known as 'David's Law;' legislation aimed at cracking down on online bullying in state schools.
David's Law named for David Molak, a local student who took his own life at just 16 years old. His family says he was tortured by cyberbullies from Alamo Heights High School.
Maurine Molak, David's mother, and brother were present to watch the vote, which next goes to the House.
SB 179 would require public schools to establish methods for students to anonymously report cyberbullying. School administrators would have 24 hours to report the bullying to the victim’s parents, followed by a report to the bully’s parents.
The bill also creates a criminal offense, starting with a class B misdemeanor, with up to six months in jail, rising to a class A misdemeanor, with up to one year in jail, for those previously convicted of cyberbullying or if the bullying was done toward a victim under age 18 with the intent to provoke a suicide or self-harm.
Make It Stop
One out of every four teens in America has been bullied at some point in their young lives, but these days bullying doesn't only happen on playgrounds or in schools. It also happens online.
Since the death of David Molak, Fox San Antonio and News 4 San Antonio have committed to fight cyberbullying through the 'Make It Stop' series. We will focus on stories that help raise awareness of the problem and ways to stop it.
Bullies can hide anytime behind a social media profile and potential victims will remain vulnerable if we don't stand together as a community to do something about it.
Statement from State Senator Donna Campbell
Sen. Campbell Celebrates Unanimous Passage of David's Law in the Senate
AUSTIN – State Senator Donna Campbell released the following statement upon Senate passage of SB 179, known as David’s Law and named in memory of San Antonio teenager David Molak, who tragically committed suicide in 2015:
“Today the Senate passed SB 179 in David's memory and in honor of all Texas families who have had their lives tragically impacted by the consequences of bullying. Not only did the Senate vote to enforce stricter penalties for cyberbullying today, we did so unanimously. This vote shows the powerful influence we can have when we all work together, and it would not have been possible without the passion and persistence of so many families who were willing to take their tragedy and turn it into a victory for others. I commend Senator Menendez for authoring this bill and inviting me to serve as a co-author to help children across our state seek relief from relentless bullying."