A news item from Florida last week:
Police on Monday arrested two girls, ages 14 and 12, in connection with the death of Rebecca Sedwick, who jumped from the top of an abandoned concrete plant last month.
Authorities said the 14-year-old girl was Rebecca’s chief tormenter, and the girl posted a taunting message Saturday on the Internet about what had happened.
“Yes IK I bullied REBECCA nd she killed her self but IDGAF,” the Facebook post read.
What a horrible sentiment, if it’s hers or if it’s someone else’s pretending to be hers.
According to Judd, the girl was upset that Rebecca had once dated her current boyfriend and began bullying and harassing her more than a year ago when they were both students at a Florida middle school.
In addition to sending harassing messages over the Internet, the girl physically attacked Rebecca at least once, Judd said. She also recruited the girl’s former best friend — the 12-year-old charged Monday — to bully her, Judd said.
Ironically enough, that Judd is Sheriff Grady Judd, who’s done some bullying of his own.
Among the online messages that drove Rebecca to jump to her death were, “You should die” and “why don’t you go kill yourself?” Judd said.
The night before Rebecca killed herself, authorities say, she messaged a boy she had befriended online, writing, “I’m jumping. I can’t take it anymore.”
Judd, clearly upset about the incident, expressed frustration that neither girl’s parents were willing to bring them in for questioning. He said he was astonished to find out that the 14-year-old in the case was still being allowed to post to the Internet after what had happened.
Dude, free speech.
Norman said she blamed the parents of the two girls and the staff at the middle school. She and Rebecca reported the bullying to the school, she said.
While bullying was not in itself against the law, Judd said, the girls’ actions allegedly harassing Rebecca in school and online formed the basis for the stalking charge. He did not expect any other charges would be filed.
Clearly the school didn’t manage to do anything about it.
First, do no harm. Second, try to prevent harm you can see happening.