If you follow my blog at all, you know by now that I am passionate about eradicating cyberbullying and protecting our children against it in any way possible. While I believe that protection and education are our best lines of defense, I also think that amending our laws to help combat and deter people from cyberbullying is another tool we should bolster to help us in the fight.
In Texas, Senate Bill 179, or ‘David’s Law‘, will soon be up for a vote on the state’s senate floor. According to an article by KGNS news, “If passed, bullies could soon be seeing consequences and school district’s policies could change.”
If passed, the bill would cause the following changes:
- School Districts would have to add cyberbullying and online harassment into their policies
- School Districts would be required to anonymously report incidents
- School officials would have 24 hrs to notify victim’s parents
- The bully’s parents would also be notified of any incidents
- School Districts would be empowered to investigate off-campus bullying if it impacts the school environment
- Establishment of criminal offenses for the most severe cases
- The offense would start as a Class B misdemeanor and develop to a class A misdemeanor in a case of multiple aggressors.
Frankly, I am glad to see our lawmakers taking this problem seriously. I wish more states were being proactive in this fight against bullying and cyberbullying. It is a problem that cannot remain ignored by our society and its government. According to the Cyberbullying Research Center, many states have not made changes to their bullying laws in almost a decade. They have a very informative and interactive chart that help to stay up on what each state is doing.
As I said before, I think that our legislatures do pay a crucial role in helping us combat this problem, but I think the biggest role is the one we play as parents. Please, talk to you kids. Take the time to know what is going on in their lives. Also, use a service like ours at Cyber Watchtower to help you guard and protect the most precious and important people in your lives, your children.
Remember, stay connected. Stay safe!
In addition to running Cyber Watchtower, Austin Bynum is also the proud father of teenage twin daughters.