Maurine Molak, founder of David’s Legacy Foundation, talked to the Belton community Tuesday about the dangers of cyber-bullying.
Her 16-year-old son, David, died by suicide in 2016 after he was bullied on social media.
Speaking to the crowd at Pittenger Fine Arts Center, Molak described the feeling of guilt, the feeling of finally having her son come to her about being bullied – but she says it was too late.
David’s Law was passed by Texas legislators in 2017. It prohibits bullying of any student, requires notification to parents within three days, establishes an anonymous reporting tool and creates an expulsion option for serious bullying.
“This past legislative session, we went back and were working trying to get some mental health legislation and suicide legislation passed as well as digital citizenship and some additional reporting tools,” she said.
On stage, Molak took out a pair of her son’s shoes. A surreal moment symbolizing a message to the audience: put yourself in the other person’s shoe because you never know what they’re going through.
She shared a message of love to those who may going through their own battle.
“The most important thing is to never lose hope and that you are deeply loved and the world is a better place because you are in it,” she said.
Molak recommending talking to your kids about the impact of social media and encouraging them to stand up to bullying.
Belton ISD does offer anonymous reporting for any bullying concern that students or parents may have. You can download the Anonymous Alerts app available on your phone’s app store.
David’s legacy foundation also offers many services for parents and students.