A Florida bullying case gained national attention when 12-year-old Rebecca Sedwick committed suicide. Following her death, a 12 and 14-year-old girl were arrested on charges of felony stalking. Both girls have now been released and the charges were dismissed.
On September 9, 2013, Rebecca Sedwick ended her life. Her body was found the next day in an abandoned concrete plant. Authorities said the 12-year-old climbed to the top of the structure and jumped to her death.
Rebecca’s mother said her daughter was distraught after dealing with years of relentless bullying. She said the bullying escalated in the months leading up to her suicide. A majority of the harassment involved two of her classmates at Crystal Lake Middle School.
While much of the bullying occurred at school, Rebecca was also harassed through social media. Sheriff Grady Judd confirmed the 12 and 14-year-old girls were sending Rebecca cruel messages through Facebook.
ABC News reports that the bullying started when the 14-year-old girl began dating Rebecca’s ex-boyfriend. Authorities said she was “more aggressive” and encouraged the 12-year-old to aid in the harassment.
Although both girls were arrested and charged with stalking, the Florida bullying case was dismissed. Prosecutors will not discuss the circumstances, as the girls are juveniles. However, Sheriff Judd said the decision is in the “best interest of the children who will receive counseling.”
As reported by NBC News, Judd said the “goal is that these kids never bully anyone again.” An attorney for Rebecca’s mother said she was “disappointed” that the charges were dropped, but she respects the prosecutor’s decision.
Sheriff Judd was instrumental in the girls’ arrest. He said they pursued Rebecca, “maliciously harassing” and tormenting her until she took her own life.
Attorney Jose Baez represents the 12-year-old accused bully. He said the sheriff’s comments following the arrest were “reckless.” Baez said “there is zero evidence of any stalking” and Rebecca’s death cannot be linked to either girl.
Baez is considering a lawsuit against the sheriff. At the very least, he demanded an apology for the accusations against his client.
The Florida bullying case is over — in the eyes of the court. Unfortunately, it may never be over for Rebecca Sedwick’s mother. She said she is considering a lawsuit against the girl’s parents and the school.
[Image via Facebook]