Dallas Attorney Says Schools Can Use Guidance on Cyberbullying

Two Texas lawmakers have filed a bill cracking down on cyberbullying. Called “David’s Law,” it’s named in honor of a San Antonio teen who was bullied and committed suicide earlier this year. If adopted during the 2017 Texas legislative session, the law would make it a misdemeanor to harass or bully anyone under the age of 18 through text messages, social media and apps. The bill would require school districts to include cyberbullying policies, develop a system to anonymously report bullying and threats and give districts authority to investigate bullying off campus, collaborate with law enforcement and allow officers to target anonymous social media users who send threatening messages.

Dallas attorney Shonn Brown of Lynn Pinker Cox & Hurst says it’s important to provide consistent guidance to schools because they must remain current with technology to help control student behavior on campus and during school-related activities. Schools must be vigilant about monitoring and controlling student behavior particularly as it relates to bullying and technological advances. The schools could probably use some guidance from the legislature in order to police such activities and develop appropriate remedies within the school disciplinary system. Making bullying a crime goes beyond school enforcement and takes it outside the school environment. It will be interesting to see how the legislature addresses that issue and how that may affect students, possibly subjecting them to a criminal record.

For more information, please contact Sophia Reza at sophia@androvett.com or 800-559-4534.

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