Senate Bill 179: David's Law

  • David's Law (PDF - printable version)

    David's Law relates to student harassment, bullying, cyberbullying, injury to or death of a minor; creating a criminal offense. Effective September 1, 2017.

    Changes include:

    • Definition of bullying changed to
      • single significant act or pattern of acts by one or more students directed aanother student that exploits an imbalance of power
      • Include
        • Is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive enough that the action or threat creates an intimidating, threatening, or abusive educational environment for a student
        • materially and substantially disrupts the educational process or the orderly operation of a classroom or school
        • Infringes on the rights of the victim at school and
        • Cyberbullying
      • Definition of Cyberbullying

    Bullying that is done through the use of electronic communication, including through the usof a cellular or other type of telephone, a computer, a pager, a camera, electronic mail, instant messaging, text messaging, a social media application, Internet website, or other Internet-based communication tool

    • Bullying that occurs
      • On or is delivered to school property or to the site of a school-sponsored or school-related activity on or off school property
      • On a publicly or privately owned school bus or van being used for transportation of students to or from school or a school-sponsored or school-related activity
    • Cyberbullying that occurs
      • Off school property or outside of a school-sponsored or school-related activity if the cyberbullying
        • Interferes with a student's educational opportunities
        • Substantially disrupts the orderly operations of a classroom, school, or school-sponsored or school-related activity
    • Procedure for providing notice of an incident of bullying to a parent or guardian of thalleged victim on or before the third business day after the date the incident is reported; and to a parent or guardian of the alleged bully within a reasonable amounof time after the incident
    • Procedures for a student to anonymously report an incident of bullying
    • Additional points. David's Law
      • allows school districts to establish a districtwide policy related to bullying prevention and mediation
      • specifies the placement or expulsion of certain students for certain bullying behavior
      • specifies reports that school principals may make to local law enforcement
      • allows continuing education requirements for classroom teachers and principals to include instruction related to grief-informed and trauma-informed strategies
      • requires TEA to maintain a website with resources related to student mental health needs
      • amends the Health and Safety Code to expand the list of certain procedures that school districts may develop
      • amends the Civil Practice and Remedies Code to specify relief for cyberbullying of a child, and to require that the Texas Supreme Court promulgate forms for use as an application for injunctive relief in suits relating to cyberbullying
      • amends the Penal Code to include certain actions within the offense of harassment

Bullying and Harassment Report Flowchart

    1. Report of Bullying and Harassment Incident
      • In-person Written Report
      • Written Anonymous Report
      • Online Anonymous Report
    2. Designated Campus Administrator (complete steps 3 and 4)
    3. Notification of Incident must be made
      • To the parent/guardian of alleged victim on or before the third business day after the date the incident is reported
      • To the parent/guardian of the alleged perpetrator within a reasonable amount of time (complete both steps)
    4. Investigation must be initiated and completed within 5 school days (complete steps 5 and 6)
    5. Results of Investigation
      • Determination if disciplinary action is warranted
      • Notification to parents of alleged victim
      • Notification to parents of alleged perpetrator
      • Notification to appropriate GPISD personnel
      • Notification to GP Police Department if required
    6. Refer Alleged Victim AND Alleged Perpetrator to Counselor for Counseling Support including
      1. Individual Counseling
      2. Small Group Counseling
      3. Crisis Counseling
      4. Peer Mediation
      5. Family Resources