Proposed bill would require Texas high school students to take a mental health class

Texas Sen. José Menéndez proposed three new mental health bills

SAN ANTONIO – Texas Sen. José Menéndez of San Antonio is looking to expand on a law named after an Alamo Heights student who took his life after being cyberbullied in 2016.

David’s Law, which was named after David Molak, was passed into law in 2017 with the help of the District 26 senator.

“What we learned during the passage of David’s Law is that many of the kids who were exposed to bullying, they didn’t know what to do or who to turn to,” Menéndez said.

The three new bills drafted are:

  • SB 405 would require students to take one mental health class in high school.
  • SB 406 would require school board and trustee members to take a course on trauma-informed school care.
  • SB 407 would ensure schools and school districts track bullying and cyberbullying incidents.

Menéndez drafted the bills with support and guidance from Texans Care for Children Network, Center for Health Care Services and David’s Legacy Foundation, which was set up by the Molak family.

“We saw a decrease in 23% of our students across the state of Texas who had tried to take their own life after David’s Law passed,” David’s mother, Maurine Molak said. “That really opened the door for us to have conversations and for us to continue to work on strong legislation, which is really important when we’re talking about these issues of mental health.”

The most important thing Menéndez and David’s Legacy Foundation want to see is an end of the stigma surrounding mental health.

“We should teach them from a young age, that there is nothing wrong when someone has something they need a little bit of help with,” Menéndez said.

“We wish that the conversation had been more normalized when were going through it with our son David,” Maurine Molak said. “It’s really important for us to make sure that they all know that they’re not alone.”


David’s Law, aimed at combating cyberbullying, signed into law

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About the Author

Erica Hernandez is an Emmy award-winning journalist with more than 10 years of experience in the broadcast news business. Erica has covered a wide array of stories all over Central and South Texas. You can catch Erica on GMSA and GMSA at 9 most mornings.

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