The Senate Criminal Justice Committee will begin looking at cyberbullying, studying how schools and law enforcement collaborate, Senator José Menéndez says in a press release.
“Cyberbullying is a new problem that needs new solutions. It is a statewide problem that demands statewide attention,” Menéndez says. “This is a major step forward for David’s Law because this committee will give us a platform to hear from experts and families from across Texas on how to address online harassment.”
The proposed law is named after an Alamo Heights teenager named David Molak, who committed suicide after being the victim of cyber bullying. His death sent shockwaves through San Antonio and pushed the topic of bullying to the forefront a city- and state-wide conversation.
“I anticipate we will hear testimony from judges and technology companies on how we can unmask anonymous perpetrators of these heinous social media posts,” Menéndez says. “Our goal is not to throw all bullies behind bars, but give law enforcement and school districts more tools to provide relief to the victims.”
Law enforcement can't issue subpoenas in cases of hateful, threatening or harassing rhetoric of social media, according to Menéndez.
“Investigating online harassment and providing legislative solutions is a critical component of giving reprieve to the children who have been bullied,” Menéndez says. “However, I hope by holding public hearings more parents become aware and talk to their children about bullying. It is important that families feel empowered to address bullying and develop solutions at home.”