Texas' cyberbullying law sounds like a good idea. But is it?

Jan 6, 2017

Credit Jhaymesisviphotography / Creative Commons

Last month two Texas lawmakers filed legislation to battle cyberbullying in Texas schools. The bill seemed like a home run—no one wants children to be bullied on the Internet. Cyberbullying can lead to low self-esteem, and even suicide.

But now, as the San Antonio Current reports, some children’s rights advocates are wondering if the bill could do more harm than good. The law would let school districts collaborate with law enforcement to investigate off-campus cyberbullying, and would give police the power to reveal anonymous social media users behind “threatening messages.” And the bill has a focus on incarceration and potential to violate free speech laws.

Will Francis, the government relations director for Texas’ National Association of Social Workers, is concerned the law will “just be sticking more kids with felonies.”

Instead, he thinks schools should focus on improving mental health resources