Rebecca Sedwick was terrorized at school because she once dated another girl’s boyfriend; bullied and taunted by as many as fifteen girls to the point that, on September 9, she jumped from a cement factory tower and died.
Now, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd — and one of my new heroes — has arrested two of those girls, aged 12 and 14, after one of them, Guadalupe Shaw, posted on Facebook that she had bullied Rebecca and didn’t care that she died.
"Yes ik [I know] I bullied REBECCA nd she killed her self but IDGAF [I don't give a f**k]"
That post was "liked" by more than 30 people.
Rebecca was harassed in person, at school, and online — one message suggested she “drink bleach and die” — and the bullying even continued after she changed schools in an effort to stop the terrorism.
|Sheriff Grady Judd|
Sheriff Grady Judd: "Bullying in and of itself is not a crime. But bullying makes up the predicate acts for stalking or aggravated stalking." And so he charged the two girls with aggravated stalking, a third-degree felony; if found guilty, it's not clear how much time, if any, the girls would spend in juvenile detention because they have no previous criminal history.
The 14-year-old girl — whom Judd described as “very cold, [with] no emotion at all upon her arrest” — was remanded into the custody of juvenile authorities, while the younger girl —Katelyn Roman, an alleged one-time friend of Rebecca's — was released into her parents’ custody "due to her remorse and cooperation."
And while it seems that these two girls were the main bullies, Judd is continuing to investigate all the other girls who took part in bullying Rebecca Sedwick to death. Sheriff Judd has said he will continue the investigation into the possible involvement of other girls, but decided to arrest these two girls because he feared they might find a new target now that Rebecca was gone.
"We decided, look, we can't leave her out there. 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?"—Grady Judd
He also said the parents did not cooperate with authorities, would not bring the girls to the police station, and would not stop their daughters from continuing to use social media, and also said, "If we can find any charges we can bring against their parents, we will."
Like I said, Grady Judd, new hero.
I mean, what kind of parent can be shown proof that their child posted that kind of message on Facebook and act as though nothing happened. Something happened; your daughter tortured a young girl to the point that she took her own life, and you don’t think that warrants a little time out from Facebook?
Rebecca's mother, Tricia Norman, says the constant bullying drove Rebecca to kill herself, and that the school district did not do enough to protect her.
"They would tell her she's ugly, stupid, nobody liked her, go kill herself. … Becca was told [by school officials] several times that she needed to adapt to her surroundings, that she needed to develop a thicker skin, she needed to ignore them. It's kind of hard to ignore when it follows you constantly and it's as relentless as what they were"—Tricia Norman
Last November, Rebecca ran away, and was hospitalized the following month for three days after cutting herself. It was then that the school stepped in to separate the girls' schedules because of fights, but the harassment continued and Rebecca later changed schools. Still, the other girls continued to taunt her and bully her and tell her she’d be better off dead.
On the morning she killed herself, Rebecca texted a boy she had met online from the cement tower, saying she couldn't take it anymore and she was jumping. After her suicide, Judd discovered, on Rebecca’s computer, search queries for topics like “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 showed Rebecca with her head resting on a railroad track.
Judd, whose office identified the two girls and released their photos because they’re accused of a felony, hopes to see the accused girls go through a treatment program, as well as lose their right to use social media.
"We've lost sleep over that child dying needlessly, and we want to see things change. We want to never, ever, ever investigate a case like that again."—Grady Judd
Thank goddess for law enforcement officials like Grady Judd. For standing up and doing what’s right to hopefully stop this from happening again. I hope he gets his way; I hope those two girls are sent to a treatment center; I hope they are cut off from social media until they learn a little thing called responsibility nd respect.
And then I hope they teach their parents.
A girl is dead, bullied to death, and another young girl who did the pushing says she doesn’t care.
MyFox Tampa Bay