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Students, Elected Leaders Pledge Not To Cyber Bully

Paul Flahive
Texas Public Radio
Maurine Molak leads students, leaders, and elected officials in "David's Pledge."

Jayden Burnette says she was bullied online so badly by an ex-boyfriend and others at her high school that she transferred to another one in San Antonio.

"It led to a lot of anxiety, depression, several negative thoughts that just were really hard to get out of," said Burnette.

She told her story Wednesday morning on the steps of San Antonio's city hall flanked by more than 50 area students, leaders, and elected officials as part of a presentation from the David's Legacy foundation. The group was formed by the parents of David Molak, a victim of cyber bullying who took his own life last January. His suicide prompted his parents to push hard for "David's Law," a recent piece of state legislation that makes cyberbullying a crime.

The harassment preceding their son's death went criminally unpunished. 

Now that the Molaks' won that fight they want teens and adults to take "David's Pledge" to not demean one another online.

"I pledge to never use my device as a weapon," says the group of cheer leaders and council people led by Maurine Molak, David's mother.

State Senator Jose Menendez (D-San Antonio)  -- who spearheaded David's Law in the Senate-- and Mayor Ron Nirenberg hold up their phones that now have a sticker with the David' Pledge icon on it. 

Maurine Molak said their efforts are going well. "I've sent out over 80,000 stickers. It's our desire to be able to do this kind of event in front of city hall in every major city in the state of Texas."

Molak said they hope to raise awareness next at city hall in Austin.

Paul Flahive can be reached at Paul@tpr.org and on Twitter at @paulflahive