Randall County Criminal DA weighs in on proposed law

Randall County Criminal DA weighs in on proposed law

AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - The proposal of "David's Law" has one District Attorney speaking out about how the anti-bullying legislation could impact future laws should it pass.

Cyber-bullying remains a problem nation-wide, and Amarillo is no different. While Randall County Criminal District Attorney James Farren agrees, he wants to educate the public on what else may come if more and more laws continue to pass.

On Monday, Texas leaders filed a bill to put a stop to cyber bullying called "David's Law," named after a boy who committed suicide.

Under the law, it would be a misdemeanor to electronically harass or bully anyone under the age of 18. But Farren says there are already laws dealing with issues like harassment and terroristic threats.

"My primary concern is...are we introducing another bill, another statute, another rule, another regulation on top of things that we already have," says Farren. "Is it really necessary?"

Farren adds the act of bullying is despicable, however he says society has a large part in how it's handled.

"We need to help grow up a generation that I think is a little tougher and a little better able to stand up for themselves. Now that doesn't mean it's okay to mistreat other people or speak unkindly to people."

Under the law, school districts would have to include policies and add resources. Farren tells us when we ask for schools to take on additional responsibilities and accept additional burdens (as would happen in this law), taxpayers are the ones who pay.

"Now obviously there are lots of criminal laws that I believe are important enough that we as tax paying citizens should accept the responsibility to help fund those things, but we need to understand every time we create another statute, it is likely to cost the taxpayers additional money."

Though skeptical, Farren says he has no doubts the bill will pass.

Authors hope to have the law signed in the 2017 legislative session beginning in January.

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