Top Stories: Cyberbullying Bill Approaches Senate Floor; Enforcing Mental Health Benefits | KERA News

Top Stories: Cyberbullying Bill Approaches Senate Floor; Enforcing Mental Health Benefits

May 3, 2017

The top local stories this morning from KERA News:

A cyberbullying bill known as David’s Law could be up for a vote in the Texas Senate as early as today.

It’s named for high school sophomore David Molak who died by suicide last year after being bullied online.

Senate Bill 179 would require school districts to identify and track the activities of student cyberbullies. Schools would have to notify the bully’s family, and if the threats continue - the bully could face criminal charges. But some education and suicide prevention groups are raising red flags. Some say the legislation is more about punishment and less about suicide prevention.

Texas Sen. Jose Menendez (D-San Antonio) authored the bill, and says it addresses both concerns.

School counselors also oppose David’s Law because it requires them to serve as mediators between the person being bullied and the bully. 

Other stories this morning:

  • The Balch Springs police chief has fired the officer who shot and killed 15 year-old Jordan Edwards last Saturday
  • A handful of bills addressing mental health are speeding through the House with near unanimous support. Among them is a proposal to enforce the mental health benefits in many insurance plans.

You can listen to North Texas stories weekdays at 8:22 a.m. and 6:20 p.m on KERA 90.1 FM.