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Sheriff will try to charge teens in cyber-bullying death

9:46 PM, Sep 12, 2013   |    comments
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Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd is trying to bring felony cyber stalking charges against more than a dozen girls after the suicide of a Florida girl, 12.

How horrific is this? Rebecca Ann Sedwick, 12, committed suicide Monday after she was bullied online. Detectives found multiple social media applications where Sedwick was constantly bullied with messages like "Go kill yourself" and "Why are you still alive?"

Sedwick jumped to her death at a former cement business in Lakeland, located between Tampa and Orlando. The sheriff said she was "absolutely terrorized on social media." He added that Sedwick had searched online for ways to commit suicide.

Deputies say several cellphones and laptops belonging to the girls have been confiscated.

Florida's new law that covers cyber-bullying could result in charges against the teens.

This is almost unbelievable. The victims are all children, in my eyes. They may think they are grown up because this world exposes them to so much more than other generations had to deal with.

And bullying has always been around but not in the horrific way it is today. If someone made fun of you at school or at the playground, you may have gone home and cried.

Your parents would hear about it from you or your brothers/sisters and then, most likely, they would go to your teacher or the parents of the bully and get it all sorted out. It's not to say it didn't exist in the past, but most kids didn't kill themselves over it.

Sometimes words are weapons, as anyone knows, but if you just hear them, just the memory of them rolls around in your head. When they are written notes -- like the kind you passed in class in grade school or high school -- you can tear them up or use them as proof.

Remember high school? How you got your feelings hurt when one of your supposed "friends" said mean things behind your back because that handsome boy in the school play fell in love with you and not her?

What's going on today is WAY beyond that. 

The Internet keeps things alive forever....but cyberbullying has reached epidemic proportions. I hope the sheriff is able to press felony charges. I'm not familiar enough with the Florida law to know if their parents can also be charged for what their children did....but I hope so. 

WKYC-TV

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