Texas Education Code – EDUC § 37.0832. Bullying Prevention Policies and Procedures

(1) “Bullying”:

(A) means a single significant act or a pattern of acts by one or more students directed at another student that exploits an imbalance of power and involves engaging in written or verbal expression, expression through electronic means, or physical conduct that satisfies the applicability requirements provided by Subsection (a-1), and that:

(i) has the effect or will have the effect of physically harming a student, damaging a student’s property, or placing a student in reasonable fear of harm to the student’s person or of damage to the student’s property;

(ii) is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive enough that the action or threat creates an intimidating, threatening, or abusive educational environment for a student;

(iii) materially and substantially disrupts the educational process or the orderly operation of a classroom or school;  or

(iv) infringes on the rights of the victim at school;  and

(B) includes cyberbullying.

(2) “Cyberbullying” means bullying that is done through the use of any electronic communication device, including through the use of a cellular or other type of telephone, a computer, a camera, electronic mail, instant messaging, text messaging, a social media application, an Internet website, or any other Internet-based communication tool.

(a-1) This section applies to:

(1) 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;

(2) 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-sponsored or school-related activity;  and

(3) cyberbullying that occurs off school property or outside of a school-sponsored or school-related activity if the cyberbullying:

(A) interferes with a student’s educational opportunities;  or

(B) substantially disrupts the orderly operation of a classroom, school, or school-sponsored or school-related activity.

Senate Bill 179, also known as David’s Law. Named after David Molak who took his own life after experiencing cyberbullying. Specifically allows schools to discipline for off-campus incidents. http://www.legis.state.tx.us/tlodocs/85R/billtext/pdf/SB00179F.pdf (signed by Governor on June 12, 2017; takes effect Sept 1, 2017).

H.B. 1942 http://www.legis.state.tx.us/tlodocs/82R/billtext/pdf/HB01942F.pdf#navpanes=0 Act applies beginning with the 2012-2013 school year. Schools must have a policy. “…‘bullying’ means…engaging in written or verbal expres­sion, expression through electronic means, or physical conduct that occurs on school property, at a school-sponsored or school-related activity, or in a vehicle operated by the district.”  Nothing in the law about behaviors that occur away from school or about substantial disruption to the learning environment.

H.B. 283; Tex. Educ. Code Ann 25.0342, 37.217, 37.001, 37.083;


Criminal impersonation: http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/PE/htm/PE.33.htm

Criminal electronic harassment: http://codes.findlaw.com/tx/penal-code/penal-sect-42-07.html (Texas Penal Code § 42.07. Harassment)