David's law is now state law.
News Radio 1200 WOAI reports Gov. Greg Abbott has signed the bill designed to give school districts and police new powers to unmask and crack down on cyber bullies who prey on school children, and the bill will also offer counseling and other psychological services to the victims of bullying.
The bill, sponsored by San Antonio State Sen. Jose Menendez and San Antonio State Rep Ina Minjares, was prompted by the case of David Molak, the Alamo Heights 16 year old who killed himself in the backyard of the family home in January of 2016, after being the target of relentless on line bullying.
"Cyberbullying is an epidemic in this country," Menendez said. "David's Law will focus on prevention efforts in schools while offering consequences to those who exploit and harass our children on the Internet."
The law will allow police and school districts greater authority to unmask and track down people who hide behind the anonymity of the Internet to bully students. It will allow school districts to investigate the bullying of their children even if the bullying itself does not take place on school grounds, and it will require all districts to have a plan in place to fight cyber bullying and to notify the parents of a child who is being bullied.
The bill also recognizes cyber bullying as a mental health issue, and provides counseling and rehabilitation services for victims.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports suicide rates among teenagers and young adults are at an all time high, and says cyber bullying is one major cause of that depressing statistic.
'David's Law' was pushed by the David's Legacy Foundation, a non profit set up by David's parents in his memory.
"We are incredibly grateful fo Gov. Abbott for signing David's Law," David's mother Maurine Molak said. "We also want to thank our San Antoio community for their incredible support throughout this entire process. This is just the beginning of our efforts to put an end to cyber bullying. We will continue to work with school districts, law enforcemnt, and teenagers to promote and reward kindness, character, and empathy among today's youth."
David Molak was named one of the "Two Who Made a Difference" in the San Antonio area in 2016 by 1200 WOAI. See Article.