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WINTER HAVEN, Fla ?  Two girls have been arrested in the death of a 12-year-old central Florida girl who authorities say committed suicide after being bullied online by several girls for nearly a year, a sheriff said Tuesday.

 

A Facebook post from one of the girls saying she didn?t care about the suicide of 12-year-old Rebecca Sedwick led police to the arrests, according to Sheriff Grady Judd. The suspects, ages 12 and 14, have been charged with felony aggravated stalking, according to the Polk County Sheriff's Office.

 

"We decided, look, we can't leave her out there," Judd said. "Who else is she going to torment? Who else is she going to harass? Who is the next person she verbally and mentally abuses and attacks?"

 

Judd held a press conference on Tuesday morning and said authorities acted fast because even though the accused girls' parents were contacted by police about Sedwick's death, the parents did not cooperate with police and the girls were still able to use their social media accounts.

 

"The parents were not doing what parents are supposed to do," Judd said. "My goodness, wake up, girl."

 

He said police moved in and made the arrests because it was unclear if the girls would pick a new victim. 

 

Judd said Sedwick was "terrorized" by as many as 15 girls who ganged up on her and picked on her for months through online message boards and texts. Some of the girls' computers and cellphones were seized in the investigation. He said the two girls arrested were the major culprits. One of the suspects had been dating Sedwick's former boyfriend. The two had gone to the same school where, at one point, there was a physical confrontation between the girls. 

 

The girl who had been dating Sedwick's former boyfriend went to friends around the school and tried to have them turn on Sedwick, Judd said. The girl posted comments on the Internet saying Sedwick should "drink bleach and die," Judd said. The second girl arrested was a former best friend of Sedwick's who was influenced by the other girl to turn on her, Judd said.

 

A man who answered the phone at the 14-year-old's Lakeland home identified himself as her father. He told The Associated Press that his daughter was "a good girl" and he was "100 percent sure that whatever they're saying about my daughter is not true."

 

Judd said the girls face felony charges because of Sedwick's age. Though Florida has adopted a bullying law, Judd said the sheriff's office was not likely pursuing any other charges against the girls.

 

Judd said he released the names and pictures of the girls who were arrested because they're accused felons. Fox News is not releasing their names or pictures because they are minors.

 

A 12-year-old girl was also arrested in the case. A message left at her Lakeland home was not immediately returned.

 

Sedwick's mother removed her from the school after the 2012 school year, but the bullying continued on the girl's cellphone via social media, Judd said. On Sept. 9, Sedwick climbed a tower at an abandoned concrete plant and jumped to her death, authorities said.

 

After the suicide, police looked at the girl's computer and found search queries for topics including "what is overweight for a 13-year-old girl," "how to get blades out of razors" and "how many over-the-counter drugs do you take to die." One of her screensavers also showed Sedwick with her head resting on a railroad track.

 

Florida has a bullying law named after a teenager who killed himself after being harassed by classmates. Amended July 1 to cover cyberbullying, the law leaves punishment to schools, though law enforcement also can seek more traditional charges.

 

Both girls were charged as juveniles with third-degree felony aggravated stalking. If convicted, it's not clear how much time, if any at all, the girls would spend in juvenile detention because they did not have any previous criminal history, the sheriff said.

 

"Time may not be the best trainer here. We've got the change this behavior of these children," Judd said.

 

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/10/15/girls-12-and-14-arrested-in-death-bullied-florida-girl-police-say/

 

Makes you think what is wrong with the parents of the bullies to make their kids treat others so badly.  Kids are ###### and always have been...even when I was in school.   But social media has taken this to a while new level.  And for the parents to not believe their kid could do such a thing to another, is just plain stupid on the parents part.  And to allow them to continue to use their social media accounts after is inexcusable as well.

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This is why I have my daughter learning martial arts.  I feel bad for the bully that tries to start crap with her.

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Shouldn't the Parents be punished? What is arresting a 12 and 14 year old going to accomplish? As far as my observations go -- the younger a person is the more affected by being arrested; it's almost like it's fuel and it makes them worse. I would assume it has something to do with being arrested at that age being seen as 'cool' or 'bad-ass'.

 

Shame what happened, but this is likely going to back-fire. The root of the problem is the parents, you aren't a bastard of a child at 12 (or even 14) without some terrible parent(s).

 

This is why I have my daughter learning martial arts.  I feel bad for the bully that tries to start crap with her.

 

You have significantly decreased the odds of her being bullied. Don't count on the fact that there isn't a more physical able bully. In my Kick-boxing class there are a few little punks that are like 10... and they can fight... they are strong, fast, trained and little ###### (granted they aren't girls, but I'm sure it happens).

 

Also, what martial arts is she in? If it's Karate, that's not going to help much. I'd recommend Judo for a young girl; I have a 12 year old girl in my Judo class and she's amazing, she can take pretty much anyone down; I don't know a single girl that age who would even have a prayer against her.

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Shouldn't the Parents be punished? What is arresting a 12 and 14 year old going to accomplish? As far as my observations go -- the younger a person is the more affected by being arrested; it's almost like it's fuel and it makes them worse. I would assume it has something to do with being arrested at that age being seen as 'cool' or 'bad-ass'.

 

Shame what happened, but this is likely going to back-fire. The root of the problem is the parents, you aren't a ****** of a child at 12 (or even 14) without some terrible parent(s).

 

 

You have significantly decreased the odds of her being bullied. Don't count on the fact that there isn't a more physical able bully. In my Kick-boxing class there are a few little punks that are like 10... and they can fight... they are strong, fast, trained and little *******s (granted they aren't girls, but I'm sure it happens).

 

Also, what martial arts is she in? If it's Karate, that's not going to help much. I'd recommend Judo for a young girl; I have a 12 year old girl in my Judo class and she's amazing, she can take pretty much anyone down; I don't know a single girl that age who would even have a prayer against her.

She is in TKD, with Judo mixed in with the style.  At her current rank, they have her mostly concentrating on weapons (bo staff and nunchuks), throws, and gun/knife disarms.

 

I agree on the Judo part, it is very effective.  I hear ya about there always being a tougher one out there, but luckily bullies typically do not go after risky targets.  They want to easy ones to minimize chance of harm or shame to themselves.

 

She is only 10 (will have her black belt by the end of next year).  She already told me that once she gets her black belt, she wants to start another style, either Kenpo or Judo.

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oh no, people are talking bad about me online... my life is over. boo hooooooooooo

 

I am sorry, but how the hell are kids being raised that they can't seem to stand up for themselves and move to suicide as an answer? I hear all these news stories about kids being bullied online and facebook, and think... why the **** can't they just turn the internet off and go out and live life and make friends of their own?

 

Seriously, the bigger issue than some snot nosed bullies is the fact that the parents can't raise a well adjusted kid that can think for themselves and stop being bullied. I wager other issues were happening in the kid's life... probably at home and with the parents themselves.

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oh no, people are talking bad about me online... my life is over. boo hooooooooooo

 

I am sorry, but how the hell are kids being raised that they can't seem to stand up for themselves and move to suicide as an answer? I hear all these news stories about kids being bullied online and facebook, and think... why the **** can't they just turn the internet off and go out and live life and make friends of their own?

 

Seriously, the bigger issue than some snot nosed bullies is the fact that the parents can't raise a well adjusted kid that can think for themselves and stop being bullied. I wager other issues in the kid's life... probably at home and with the parents themselves.

So much more of our lives--and the lives these people are being raised on--are online now. People think it's weird now if you don't have a Facebook account, and most interactions take place there. Sadly, it is kind of these kids' whole world, or at least most of it. That's what needs to change. It's not like when I was a kid, or (I suspect) like when you were.

 

They can't go out and make friends as easily, because "out there", nobody is around. They're all at home on their computers or tablets or smartphones. It's sad, and the anonymity means that kids who are cruel enough in real life at this age have a hidden, semi-anonymous, 'safe' medium to be even more cruel. Saying these things to someone in the hallway at school is bad enough, but there is only so much time for this to occur, plus there are teachers and such around. Saying this online means it's written, seared into your mind, kind of permanently, and no real repercussion for the person who said it. There needs to be something in place to deal with this.

 

I don't think the minimum age for private social media accounts should be 13, for example. If you recall, the ages of 11-15 or so were the *worst* for treating each other horribly and bullying. I know it was when I was treated the worst. Maybe its just me, but I think the age should be 16 at minimum.

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oh no, people are talking bad about me online... my life is over. boo hooooooooooo

 

I am sorry, but how the hell are kids being raised that they can't seem to stand up for themselves and move to suicide as an answer? I hear all these news stories about kids being bullied online and facebook, and think... why the **** can't they just turn the internet off and go out and live life and make friends of their own?

 

Seriously, the bigger issue than some snot nosed bullies is the fact that the parents can't raise a well adjusted kid that can think for themselves and stop being bullied. I wager other issues were happening in the kid's life... probably at home and with the parents themselves.

 

I would like to see how well you deal with being bullied for 8 hours a day 5 days a week and then having to deal with that at home too on the internet for an entire year. And oh yeah, be 12.

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oh no, people are talking bad about me online... my life is over. boo hooooooooooo

 

I am sorry, but how the hell are kids being raised that they can't seem to stand up for themselves and move to suicide as an answer? I hear all these news stories about kids being bullied online and facebook, and think... why the **** can't they just turn the internet off and go out and live life and make friends of their own?

 

Seriously, the bigger issue than some snot nosed bullies is the fact that the parents can't raise a well adjusted kid that can think for themselves and stop being bullied. I wager other issues were happening in the kid's life... probably at home and with the parents themselves.

You are a man, right?

 

Females are sensitive.  These things affect them a lot more than they affect us (usually).  There are a lot more cases of female suicide from online bullying than males.

 

I have a daughter, so I totally understand.

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I would like to see how well you deal with being bullied for 8 hours a day 5 days a week and then having to deal with that at home too on the internet for an entire year. And oh yeah, be 12.

 

Well, I WAS 12 at one point, and went through school and saw bullies and their targets. Heck, everyone is bullied at some point in their life, but in reality, she wasn't bullied for 8 hours a day 5 days a week, and no one forced her to a. keep her cell number, b. use social media or at least not make it private.

 

So honestly, poor parenting and really poor training for this kid's overall well-being. Like I said, I wager more was going on.

 

As a side note, I always question when a bullied kid says that they are picked on by SOOOOOOOOO many people... generally you have to ask 'why are so many folks really picking on you, and why do you let them?.'

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You are a man, right?

 

Females are sensitive.  These things affect them a lot more than they affect us (usually).  There are a lot more cases of female suicide from online bullying than males.

 

I have a daughter, so I totally understand.

 

I understand where you may be coming from, but that is a rather poor excuse. Girls are fragile so... what then, accepted, OK, expected?

 

Since we are sharing about kids, I have several daughters, as in a lot. I also understand what it is to raise kids to not worry about what others say, and when to stay off social media. These parents and others, don't... obviously.

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Bullied by computer ? Sounds like BS.

 

Nothing to prevent you from walking away.

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I understand where you may be coming from, but that is a rather poor excuse. Girls are fragile so... what then, accepted, OK, expected?

 

Since we are sharing about kids, I have several daughters, as in a lot. I also understand what it is to raise kids to not worry about what others say, and when to stay off social media. These parents and others, don't... obviously.

I'm saying that the boohoo attitude you have is misplaced.

 

Women in general need to be handled with delicacy and kid gloves, not tossed out the door, told to suck it up and go play with friends.

 

I was not making an excuse at all.  Your answer works for males, maybe, but not females.

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I'm saying that the boohoo attitude you have is misplaced.

 

Women in general need to be handled with delicacy and kid gloves, not tossed out the door, told to suck it up and go play with friends.

 

I was not making an excuse at all.  Your answer works for males, maybe, but not females.

 

I don't think it is.

 

Claiming girls are just more sensitive doesn't make it misplaced. I would think your thoughts are actually very 1400s in practice and theory.

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Bullied by computer ? Sounds like BS.

 

Nothing to prevent you from walking away.

 

How dare you, Hum... don't you know kids live on the web now-a-days and cannot live without a constant stream of internet based input and deluge of information and social media????

 

How dare you... how dare, you.

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She is in TKD, with Judo mixed in with the style.  At her current rank, they have her mostly concentrating on weapons (bo staff and nunchuks), throws, and gun/knife disarms.

 

I agree on the Judo part, it is very effective.  I hear ya about there always being a tougher one out there, but luckily bullies typically do not go after risky targets.  They want to easy ones to minimize chance of harm or shame to themselves.

 

She is only 10 (will have her black belt by the end of next year).  She already told me that once she gets her black belt, she wants to start another style, either Kenpo or Judo.

 

TKD + Judo would make her a little weapon xD. That's pretty much how I did it, it makes your stand and ground equally impressive, but my TKD was more concentrated on Street Fighting and was more MMA if anything (not TV MMA).

 

You're doing the right progression imo :D

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I don't think so.

 

Claiming girls are just more sensitive doesn't make it so.

Haven't spent much time with women, I take it (or at least young girls).

 

Maybe I am more sensitive to the situation with having a daughter....

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I know I was bullied pretty badly when I was a kid. Yes, I had problems because of it. But I played sports, did well in my studies, and pretty much just did my own thing. Having brothers to play with at home helped, I guess. I think I spent most of my time when I was home in my room reading or drawing. But I wasn't raised immersed in the social-media world like these kids. Also, my childhood was ridiculous and I had to help raise my little brothers too, so I might have been tougher than the average 12-year-old girl. But I know I had plenty of problems with depression and "angst" over it, if you will. Not being able to escape it, not realising you have an escape, being even just a little more sensitive, and having the myopic view of a kid that age? I can easily see this happening.

 

Hence what I stated in my earlier post. Kids younger than 16 need to be off social media, with limited access to the 'net and mostly just for research/learning, and out there developing real social skills as well as learning to entertain themselves. It isn't depriving them, it's helping them develop crucial skills and become a more well-balanced person later. But that's just my two cents.

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This is why I have my daughter learning martial arts.  I feel bad for the bully that tries to start crap with her.

 

Why not just send her in with a weapon? Doesn't have to be a gun, but maybe a Nokia 3310?

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As a side note, I always question when a bullied kid says that they are picked on by SOOOOOOOOO many people... generally you have to ask 'why are so many folks really picking on you, and why do you let them?.'

 

Don't fool yourself, kids at that age are vicious and target their frustrations and rage to other kids; if they consider their target a weak one they are all over it. When i was young a saw an awful allot of kids being bullied every single day, sometimes several times per day; it's exhausting, mind and soul weakening and trashes your personality and self-confidence.

Also don't forget that for kids the social side of the internet is a must and most likely everything for them.

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Well, I WAS 12 at one point, and went through school and saw bullies and their targets. Heck, everyone is bullied at some point in their life, but in reality, she wasn't bullied for 8 hours a day 5 days a week, and no one forced her to a. keep her cell number, b. use social media or at least not make it private.

 

So honestly, poor parenting and really poor training for this kid's overall well-being. Like I said, I wager more was going on.

 

As a side note, I always question when a bullied kid says that they are picked on by SOOOOOOOOO many people... generally you have to ask 'why are so many folks really picking on you, and why do you let them?.'

 

Do you have kids or have you ever had to deal with them on a personal level for an extended amount of time? Either nephews/nieces or cousins kids? I somehow don't think you have.

 

And while I might agree poor parenting didn't help the situation any children can be cruel. More cruel than adults can be by far.

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Do you have kids or have you ever had to deal with them on a personal level for an extended amount of time? Either nephews/nieces or cousins kids? I somehow don't think you have.

 

And while I might agree poor parenting didn't help the situation any children can be cruel. More cruel than adults can be by far.

Yeah...been the shoulder to cry on more than once for my daughter.

 

Children are vicious.

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Bullied by computer ? Sounds like BS.

Nothing to prevent you from walking away.

:rolleyes: are you really that ignorant or just acting like it?

A town near where I live was recently one of the first in the nation enacting laws to hold parents responsible for kids who bully other kids. Sounds like this town could use such a law as well.

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Do you have kids or have you ever had to deal with them on a personal level for an extended amount of time? Either nephews/nieces or cousins kids? I somehow don't think you have.

 

And while I might agree poor parenting didn't help the situation any children can be cruel. More cruel than adults can be by far.

 

The circle jerking is strong in this thread, but yeah, I have been around kids a lot.

 

Doesn't change the fact that the kid was raised to be weak, as the other kids were raised to be bullies.

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The circle jerking is strong in this thread, but yeah, I have been around kids a lot.

 

Doesn't change the fact that the kid was raised to be weak, as the other kids were raised to be bullies.

 

Yeah, okay.

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:rolleyes: are you really that ignorant or just acting like it?

A town near where I live was recently one of the first in the nation enacting laws to hold parents responsible for kids who bully other kids. Sounds like this town could use such a law as well.

'Bullied' on-line is wholly different from real life bullys.

 

Nothing hard about clicking off the computer.

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