Proposed bill would hold cyberbullies criminally accountable - Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Proposed bill would hold cyberbullies criminally accountable

WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) -

A proposed Texas Senate bill would give cyber bullies a new name, criminals. SB 179 will make cyberbullying a misdemeanor crime. 

It's also referred to as David's Law after 16-year-old David Molak from San Antonio who took his life after months of harassment from classmates. 

According to David's Law, school administrators will have to intervene and report any suspected cyberbullying cases.

The schools will inform the parents of the situation. Parents of the victims could also sue the cyberbully's parents if they chose not to stop the harassment when they could. 

In 2012, Texas Association of School Boards created guidelines to punish students found cyberbullying their peers. Victims of cyberbullying could choose to transfer schools within their district.

There are school districts in Wichita Falls, like WFISD, that have a system to prevent bullying and cyberbullying.

"The [students] do a social contract with every class talking about how [they] are going to treat each other," Ashley Thomas WFISD community relations officer said."If a student feels another student is violating that student contract, they bring that to the teacher's attention and show them they aren't being respectful."

Administration at Christ Academy in Wichita Falls has already begun implementing some of the rules in David's Law.

"We can and will look at their history and text messages," Dr. Jerry Meadows said.

Because Christ Academy is a private school, the students and parents are required to sign paperwork giving consent to searches of their social media and cell phone.

"If we can get a change of behavior, true change of behavior, and it stops then we accomplished our purpose," Dr. Meadows said. "If we don't, they have to leave. We cannot provide this type of environment to other students."

There have been no cases of cyberbullying at Christ Academy but Dr. Meadows said they're prepared for it if or when it does.

"We have classes where we find out what it means to be a good digital citizen," Dr. Meadows. "We do it through our values training, our religious training."

Similar cyberbullying cases to Molak's occurred in Texoma like 14-year-old Tyler Andrew Garcia who made the same fateful decision. A lawsuit in Iowa Park is pending after Garcia's sued Iowa Park Consolidated School District.

Copyright 2017 KAUZ All Rights Reserved

  • News HeadlinesNewsMore>>

  • Director: FBI won't repeat mistakes noted in watchdog report

    Director: FBI won't repeat mistakes noted in watchdog report

    Monday, June 18 2018 2:40 PM EDT2018-06-18 18:40:23 GMT
    Tuesday, June 19 2018 5:43 AM EDT2018-06-19 09:43:17 GMT
    (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite). Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz, left, and FBI Director Christopher Wray wait to testify as the Senate Judiciary Committee examines the internal report of the FBI's Clinton email probe and the role ...(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite). Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz, left, and FBI Director Christopher Wray wait to testify as the Senate Judiciary Committee examines the internal report of the FBI's Clinton email probe and the role ...
    The Republican chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee says the Justice Department has a "serious credibility problem.".
    The Republican chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee says the Justice Department has a "serious credibility problem.".
  • Investigators say DNA database can be goldmine for old cases

    Investigators say DNA database can be goldmine for old cases

    Saturday, June 16 2018 12:19 PM EDT2018-06-16 16:19:01 GMT
    Tuesday, June 19 2018 5:22 AM EDT2018-06-19 09:22:33 GMT

    Some private investigators and genealogy experts want to use the same DNA-tracking system that identified the suspected Golden State Killer to solve decades-old murder and missing-person cases.

    Some private investigators and genealogy experts want to use the same DNA-tracking system that identified the suspected Golden State Killer to solve decades-old murder and missing-person cases.

  • HPT Duncan: Chisholm Trail Heritage Center & Garis Gallery of the American West

    HPT Duncan: Chisholm Trail Heritage Center & Garis Gallery of the American West

    Tuesday, June 19 2018 12:57 AM EDT2018-06-19 04:57:44 GMT
    (Source:KAUZ)(Source:KAUZ)

    The Chisholm Trail Heritage Center and Garis Gallery of the American West show what life was like for cowboys who embarked on the cattle drive 150 years ago.

    The Chisholm Trail Heritage Center and Garis Gallery of the American West show what life was like for cowboys who embarked on the cattle drive 150 years ago.

Powered by Frankly