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Final Version of SB 179, or "David's Law," Goes to Governor

05.30.2017 — SB 179, known as "David's Law," will go to the governor now that the conference committee signed off on a final version this weekend that applies to: bullying that occurs on or is delivered to school property or to the site of a school-sponsored or school-related activity, on or off school property; bullying that occurs on a publicly or privately owned school bus or vehicle being used for transportation of students to or from school or a school-related activity; and cyberbullying that occurs off school property or outside of school-related activities if it interferes with a student's educational opportunities or substantially disrupts the orderly operation of a classroom, school, or school-related activity. The bill:
  • amends Education Code provisions on bullying to include cyberbullying
  • requires a school district board of trustees to adopt policy that establishes procedure for providing notice of an incident of bullying to a parent or guardian of an alleged victim on or before the third business day after the date the incident is reported as well as notice to the parent/guardian of the alleged bully within a reasonable time
  • allows school districts to establish a districtwide policy related to bullying prevention and mediation
  • specifies the placement or expulsion of certain students for certain bullying behavior
  • specifies reports that school principals may make to local law enforcement
  • allows continuing education requirements for classroom teachers and principals to include instruction related to grief-informed and trauma-informed strategies
  • requires TEA to maintain a website with resources related to student mental health needs
  • amends the Health and Safety Code to expand the list of certain procedures that school districts may develop
  • amends the Civil Practice and Remedies Code to specify relief for cyberbullying of a child, and to require that the Texas Supreme Court promulgate forms for use as an application for injunctive relief in suits relating to cyberbullying
  • amends the Penal Code to include certain actions within the offense of harassment

See the full text of the final bill.

SB 179 takes effect September 1, 2017 (upon governor's signature or inaction).

Sunday, June 18, is the last day the governor can sign or veto bills passed during the regular session. If the governor neither vetoes nor signs the bill within the allotted time, the bill becomes law.