Texas Father Suing Son’s Alleged Bullies After New Law Passed Recently in Texas
This will be the first case since David's law went into effect.
A new law was passed in 2017 after the passing of Alamo Heights student David Molak. David committed suicide in 2016 after relentless cyberbullying at his school. David's law is stated as this when it comes to criminal activity. Cyber-harassment against a child that includes suicide baiting or the violation of an injunction against cyberbullying will be a much more serious criminal offense than before, up to Class A Misdemeanor.
Derek Rothschild is the first one to file a lawsuit using David's law. He claims his son is being bullied at school by some of his peers. Some students at Northeast ISD's Hill Middle School took a poll on social media. He said the students voted that his son would be "most likely to shoot up the school." Derek says his son and his friends laughed it off because they knew it wasn't serious.
Ever since this poll went up, Derek's son has been treated differently in school. Derek's son has been pulled from school, placed in school suspension. "Administration went through his backpack, went through his locker, let him back into the student population and ended up punishing him as much, if not more than the very people who started the rumors in the first place," attorney Justin Nichols said.
Rothschild said the district failed to properly investigate the issue, did not offer resources or counseling for the bullying. The lawsuit is seeking an injunction against the alleged bullies and their parents, plus $50,000 in damages. "The only message I want to send is that the school needs to do the right thing and treat kids the right way. I felt that the school was out to protect the school and not out to protect the children. There's a real opportunity to change and do things better," Rothschild said.
"The goal is to make the district realize that a mistake was made and they need to do a better job under David's Law to handle situations of bullying. And most importantly, we want to remind parents out there whose kids are engaging in this kind of conduct, that David's Law allows them to be held accountable," Nichols said.
We will see how this case plays out and what it means for the future of these bullying cases here in Texas.