'David's Law' to be filed in Texas Legislature Monday

Bill aims at preventing, combating cyberbullying

By Pilar Arias - Reporter

SAN ANTONIO - It's been more than 10 months since Matt and Maurine Molak lost their son David.

The 16-year-old took his own life after being the alleged victim of cyberbullying.

David's family says online abuse for months left the teen a shell of himself. When no charges were filed against any of the accused bullies, David's family was inspired to create "David's Law," or state regulations that put more power and responsibility into the hands of school districts.

State Sen. Jose Menendez and state Rep. Ina Minjarez are preparing to file "David's Law" as a companion bill on Monday, the first day legislation can be filed for the 85th legislative session. It's a day the Molaks and those working with David's Legacy Foundation have been eagerly awaiting.

"We don't want this happening to anybody else. That was our goal in starting this foundation and going forward with this," Matt Molak said.

Back on Jan. 4, David Molak was found hanged to death in his family's backyard. His relatives say the teen took his own life after being personally attacked by a group of students on several social media sites and through text messages. The alleged bullying started while David attended Alamo Heights High School last fall but allegedly continued even after he switched schools.

The Bexar County District Attorney's Office said that it has determined there to be "insufficient evidence" to support charges in the alleged cyberbullying-related suicide of Molak.

Full statement from the DA's office below:

On February 17, 2016, the Bexar County Criminal District Attorney’s Office received the investigation into the alleged harassment of David Molak. After conducting a thorough review of the evidence submitted by the San Antonio Police Department, the DA’s Office determined there is insufficient evidence to support criminal prosecution related to criminal charges. Therefore, at this time there will be no criminal charges stemming from this incident. Our Office has been in constant contact with the Molak family and their attorneys and they have been notified of this decision.

"There's so much more to do," Maurine Molak said. "Depending on how well we do in Texas next year will determine what our next steps are. We're already talking about going to the national level and working with some of the social media, app companies."

If passed, "David's Law" would require school districts across the state to have cyberbullying policies and notify parents of bullying victims or the alleged aggressors.

"What this does, to me, it gives them the authority to investigate incidents that happened off campus," Matt Molak said.

The law would also mandate districts develop a system, such as an anonymous hotline, to report bullying and other threats.

"When I was in elementary school I could go home and the bullying stopped. Now it continues to follow the child 24/7," Minjarez said.

Both she and Menendez are open to ideas on how to improve "David's Law."

"We have to do what we can to step up and say this isn't just kids being kids this is serious," Menendez said.

The Molaks will be in Austin Monday with Menendez and Minjarez when the companion bill is filed. KSAT will also be traveling to the state capitol and have reports on the bills filing during the early-evening newscasts.

For more information on how to prevent cyberbullying and how to get help, click on the links below.

Stop Bullying

Bullying in schools

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