First School Cyberbullying Case Under David's Law
Local news out of San Antonio, Texas, is reporting that the first lawsuit to allege cyberbullying under David's Law, the state's anti-cyberbullying law for school kids, has been filed.
Fortunately, the case does not involve a teen suicide, as in the namesake's case. Rather, the bullied student was voted "most likely to shoot up the school" on social media by other kids in the school, and from there, things went from bad to much worse, before his dad decided to pull him out and file this lawsuit.
From Social Media to Social Pariah
For the targeted youth, at first, he tried to brush it off, and even he and his friends joked about it. But in short order, it became no laughing matter as the cyberbullying turned into live-action bullying. Rumors started to spread at school, he was being teased and asked mean-spirited questions by other students, and soon enough, the school got involved.
But rather than step up to defend the student being bullied, he was searched, and the school questioned him as if he planned to shoot up the school, then allegedly disciplined him for making an unrelated comment the school perceived as a threat.
Suing Under David's Law
Notably, David's Law provides statutory protection to bullied students. The law allows the parents of bullied students to seek various forms of injunctive relief against bullies and the parents of bullies focused on stopping the bullying from continuing. The law also provides stronger protections for individuals that report bullying, and ups the criminal penalties for "suicide baiting" and when an anti-bullying injunction is violated.
The lawsuit is currently only filed against the bullies and parents of the bullies, all as DOE defendants, however, it is anticipated that the school will be named as well, once the school's grievance procedures have been exhausted.
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