Cyberbullying means bullying arising from a pattern of acts or one significant act that is done through the use of any electronic communication device, including a cellular or other type of phone, a computer, a camera, electronic mail, instant messaging, text messaging, a social media application, and Internet website, or any other internet-based communication tool.

Where does the law apply?

  • 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 of school property.

  • Bullying occurs on a publicly or privately owned school bus or vehicle being used for transportation of students to or from school or a school-sponsored or school-related activity.

  • Cyberbullying occurs off school property or outside of a school-sponsored or school-related activity if the cyberbullying interferes with a student’s educational opportunities or substantially disrupts the orderly operation of a classroom, school, or school-sponsored or school-related activity.

Is cyberbullying protected free speech?  NO

How can bullying and cyberbullying be punished?

  • A school can remove a student who is engaging in bullying activity from class and place them in a disciplinary alternative education program (DAEP) or expel them if they encourage a student to commit or attempt to commit suicide, incite violence against a student through group bullying, or release or threaten to release intimate visual material of a minor or student who is 18 years of age or older without the student’s consent.

  • Under David’s Law, if a person commits an offense under the cyberbullying provision of the Harassment Statute (Section 42.07 of the Texas Penal Code), it is a Class A misdemeanor (rather than merely a Class B) if

    • The offense was committed against a child under 18 years of age with the intent that the child commit suicide or engage in conduct causing serious bodily injury to the child; or

    • The person has previously violated a temporary restraining order or injunction issued under the new civil provisions in David’s Law. 

  • For other forms of bullying, cyberbullying, and harassment, the GISD Student Code of Conduct will apply.

NOTE:  When applicable, bullying, cyberbullying, and harassment will be reported by the school to the proper authorities for possible criminal prosecution. 

What are the civil remedies for cyberbullying? 

  • Temporary restraining orders against the cyberbully

  • An injunction against cyberbullying to stop the cyberbullying

  • An injunction against the parents of the cyberbully, requiring the parents to take action to stop their child from cyberbullying

David's Law

The red ellipsis symbol serves as a reminder of the dangers of cyberbullying.  By placing this sticker on my phone or computer,

I pledge to NEVER use my device as a weapon

David’s Law aims to end cyberbullying in Texas.  Visit to learn how you can make a difference.)

Take the Pledge: “I pledge never to use my device as a weapon.    

Helpful Links

  • Crisis Text Line:  741741  Crisis Text Line is free, 24/7 support for those in crisis. Text 741741 from anywhere in the US to text with a trained Crisis Counselor or visit Crisis Text Line       

  • Creating a Positive Digital Footprint (GISD Newsletter)

  • GISD Technology Acceptable Use Policy (Policy Link)

  • GISD Technology Internet Safety Plan and Cyber Safety (Safety Link)