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Texas Senate Unanimously Passes Bipartisan Law to End Cyberbullying

May 4, 2017

AUSTIN – With a unanimous 31-0 vote, the Texas Senate passed SB 179, known as “David’s Law”, to put a stop to cyberbullying in Texas. “David’s Law” is named for David Molak, a San Antonio area teen who tragically committed suicide after relentless cyberbullying.

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,” said Senator Donna Campbell (R-New Braunfels), a co-author of the bill. “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.”

David’s Law, among other things, requires school district’s board of trustees to adopt policy and procedures regarding cyberbullying, as well as makes it a criminal offense, with possible jail time, for repeat offenders, as well as those who cyberbully a victim under 18 years old intending to cause suicide or self-harm.

The bipartisan “David’s Law” was authored by Senator Jose Menendez (D-San Antonio) who gave an impassioned floor speech, including reading personal stories of those impacted by cyberbullying, such as a leukemia patient who was being harassed by anonymous social media accounts offering “ideas on how to kill yourself.” “Law enforcement told me that current law is not enough…I believe we have the responsibility to act before more children take their lives,” said Senator Menendez. “The bullies now are on our children’s phones and on their computers.”

“It is important for the public to know that while occasionally our work in the Texas Senate falls on party lines, it is good for Texas kids when the Senate comes together on an important bipartisan vote such as this,” concluded Texas Senate Republican Caucus Chairman Paul Bettencourt (R-Houston).

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