Derek Rothschild, whose 8th grade son was allegedly bullied by classmates, has filed a lawsuit against his tormentors in the first use of David’s Law, an anti-cyberbullying law signed into law in 2017.
The new law was named after David Molak, an Alamo Heights teen who killed himself in 2016 after being cyberbullied.
According to the lawsuit filed by Rothschild, several students began an online discussion about who would be most likely to shoot up the school and named his son as a likely school shooter.
“This caused the entire student body to ostracize (Rothschild’s son), and subjected him to searches and interrogation by school staff, and ridicule by other students. At no time did (Rothschild’s son) have any plans, intent, or desire to hurt anyone. The rumors were mean spirited, wholly false, and intended to hurt (Rothschild’s son),” Justin Nichols, Rothschild’s attorney, said.
School administrators sent an email to parents after the online discussion occurred, expressing that it wasn’t a credible threat. However, Rothschild said the administrators still searched his son and brought extra security to the school. He told the school that this was bullying and his son was the only one truly in danger.
Rothschild said his son started joking around with his friends about how he would be sent to an alternative school after the email was sent. However, he removed his son from the school district shortly after.
Nichols said that the district didn’t conduct an investigation or provide counseling resources to the teen boy after the cyberbullying.
The current lawsuit doesn’t name the school district as a defendant, but Rothschild plans to file another lawsuit after going through the district’s grievance process.
Rothschild is seeking $50,000 in damages.