New Bills Aim to Delete Cyber-bullying

Diana Crawford
NewsChannel 10

Amarillo, Texas - Tackling cyber-bullying may be brought to a whole new level as the Texas legislative session begins in just a few days. Several bills have already been filed.

Bullying at school has been around as long as most can remember, but bullying from behind a computer screen or cell phone is raising concern in area schools. Especially because of the recent incidents nationwide.

While Texas does have anti-bullying laws, they do not encompass ones using electronic media or criminal action. These are some issues the Senate and House bills aim to address.

But State Senator Kel Seliger believes this is going to be a complicated and challenging topic. He says, "Schools have a lot of good counseling assets that they can address the thing right there. But if they're going to do it comprehensively, like everything else, it's probably going to take more money to put into those counseling resources. That's another issue altogether when it comes to the 82nd legislature, because money is going to be hard to come by."

Seliger says money isn't the only issue though- how to regulate the Internet and what to do when it happens outside of school grounds present serious challenges. He says, "It mainly lies in the hands of the parents. If schools aren't providing the computers and the things like that, it's generally the families and the parents that are providing the phones and the computers that do it. They also provide the atmosphere and the tone of what is acceptable and not acceptable for their children who are minors, to do. That's where it really defaults down to and that's our biggest problem right there. We cannot legislate good parenting."

AISD tells us cyber-bullying is taken very seriously and all social media sites are blocked at school.