Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Another One: Rebecca Sedwick

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.

Something’s wrong ….

USA Today
MyFox Tampa Bay
Yahoo News


Anonymous said...

Bob, you seem to have a heart for the bullied and downtrodden. I admire this.

This is a hot button issue for me, since our son was dealing with this last year. We really had to "raise Cain" with the school. It was starting again this fall, and my wife wrote what she called "a howler e-mail" to the school. (If you've read Harry Potter, you'll understand the reference.) They seem to actually be doing something about it now.

I'm really getting to hate Facebook on some levels. Anyone who would revel in the fact that they tortured another human being to the point of suicide, let alone put this out for public consumption on Facebook, is a sociopath. The parents of that bully are in complete denial.

Thank the Lord that there are some authorities still willing to take a stand against this kind of crap.

Sean R.

Bob Slatten said...

Thanks Sean

I was one of those bullied as a kid and though the thought of suicide scarcely crossed my mind -- I think I have have been more frightened of that than the bullies themselves -- I feel for these kids, and I also worry about the bullies and their "I don't care" attitude. I wonder who is raising these kids and how.

And I love people like Grady Judd who aren't going to take it any more, even though eh didn't arrest the girls for bullying but for stalking.

Hopefully that 'howler' mail will get your son's school to act.

anne marie in philly said...

little bitches; hope they get the book thrown at them for their h8. cause they WILL do it again, if they are that heartless.

PS - bullied myself; thought of killing myself but didn't. I hope EVERY ONE of those people that bullied me die a horrible death instead! said...


Grady Judd should be a hero to many. And those two girls should become examples of what can happen to bullies.

Shaw's parents were interviewed on Good Morning America this morning (with their backs to the camera) and insisted that their daughter's Facebookaccount had been hacked and that she was innocent. They are in complete denial and, in my opinion, bullies themselves. Their daughter was not born a bully ... she learned to be hateful. I sincerely hope that Sheriff Judd finds something to charge them with, too.

I'm curious to learn why Rebecca's mother allowed her access to the internet. After taking such drastic steps as changing schools, etc., I find it curious that Rebecca was still allowed to have an online presence.

It will be interesting to see how this story unfolds. (I blogged about it myself but far too early to know enough details.)

Another great post!

the dogs' mother said...

How do people take sweet, little baby girls and turn them into such monsters?

Helen Lashbrook said...

So presumably the same person that hacked Guadalupe's FB page also dressed up as her at school and bullied Rebecca?

Stopping the girl using FB would be the logical thing to do IMO, especially as the page has been 'hijacked'. If nothing else it would protect her duyring the investigation.

Debbie said...

I heard this story and felt sick. I saw her mother on Anderson Cooper (I think it was Anderson Cooper) ... that poor little girl. When I heard what one of the tormentors said, IDGAF I just about lost it. Obviously, that kid has serious fucken issues. She has no conscious and needs to be placed in a facility, given years of therapy and kept out of society. That is one scary little girl.

Debbie said...

p.s. That Guadalupe Shaw looks like the little home girls who terrorized me in junior high. They were vicious little fucks. I went to a HORRIBLE, VIOLENT junior high school. It was terrifying. This was way back in the 1970's when gang girls were crazy. I wish I could dot that little bitches eyes out.