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New Texas Anti-Cyberbullying Law Takes Effect

3 years 1 month 1 week ago Tuesday, September 19 2017 Sep 19, 2017 September 19, 2017 9:20 PM September 19, 2017 in News

EDINBURG – A new law will help protect your children from cyberbullying. The law is named after David Molak, a 16-year-old from Alamo Heights, Texas who took his own life after being cyberbullied.

The law helps school districts crack down and prevent cyberbullying amongst students.

"Being bullied by certain students, by the school. And how the bullying would follow him via social media and I believe it was through Instagram if I’m not mistaken and Snapchat if I’m not mistaken," said Jennifer Martinez, whose son was a victim of cyberbullying.

She knew something had to be done after she got a call at work saying her son had a knife at school.

"My son apparently had told another student. I'm sick of what you're telling me, I'm sick of you telling me stuff every day, I’m sick of you hurting me, I’m sick of you cutting my clothes up. I’m going to hurt you and when I’m done hurting you, I’m gonna hurt myself." Martinez said.

This brought back painful memories. She had a niece who took her own life after being cyber bullied.

This was the last straw for Martinez, but because David's Law didn't exist, she was limited on what she could do.

CHANNEL 5 NEWS spoke to Ricardo Perez the chief of police for Edinburg CISD. He explained to us what cyberbullying is and what the new law entails.

"Just cause people are calling each other names, then it's not bullying. But if its continual and it leads up to potential violence then, then the school district will investigate and administrative action up to criminal action can be take," said Perez.

Perez said there is now more room for the school district to act now that David's Law has come into play.

"And it carries over the next day on campus that the bullying continues. The school district can now take action based on the senate," Perez said.

There are also new trainings the school districts have to go through to prevent cyberbullying.

Perez said the men and women on his police force are trained and ready to combat cyberbullying.

Now all school districts will need a way to anonymously report bullying like the one at Edinburg CISD.

David's Law will also allow school districts to investigate bullying incidents that occur off campus through the cyber category of bullying.

Details about the law can be found below.

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