Rebecca Sedwick Suicide: 2 Bullies Arrested

By: Brian Powell - October 15, 2013

Last month, 12 year old Rebecca Sedwick messaged a friend and told him, “I’m jumping and I can’t take it anymore.” Following that message, Sedwick went to a nearby silo and jumped, ending her life.

This morning, police in Polk County, Florida arrested 2 suspects for aggravated stalking of Sedwick. The two girls, one aged 14 and the other aged 12, had been bullying Sedwick for months before the incident occurred.

The abuse started at Crystal Lake Middle school, where Sedwick was constantly tormented by her two bullies after the 14 year old started dating Sedwick’s ex-boyfriend. Not only was Sedwick accosted with such verbal attacks as “You’re ugly,” “Why are you still alive?,” “Go kill yourself,” and “to drink bleach and die,” but she was also physically attacked by the 12 year old, resulting in her temporary suspension.

Due to the constant abuse Sedwick faced, her parents decided to pull her out of Crystal Lake Middle School and home-school Rebecca. Following a break, the parents decide to enroll Sedwick in a different school, Lawton Chiles Middle Academy. While Sedwick seemed to be much more receptive to attending school here, the bullying followed her online.

The break leading to the arrest came when the 14 year old girl posted the following on her Facebook page: “Yes IK I bullied REBECCA nd she killed her self but IDGAF.” (Translated as “Yes, I know I bullied Rebecca and she killed herself, but I don’t give a f*ck.”)

Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd stated that the arrest came so quickly after the discovery of this post because, “We decided that we can’t leave her out there. Who else is she going to torment, who else is she going to harass?”

Judd added, “If we can find any charges we can bring against their parents, we will,” especially considering the fact that Judd felt the parents were not doing their job as parents, allowing their 14 year old daughter to continue to use social media websites after her arrest.

As it currently stands, the two girls most likely will not spend any time in juvenile detention due to not having a previous record and also due to the level of the violation – Aggravated stalking is a Class 3 Felony, only one step above a misdemeanor.

Everyone has seen the impact that social media has made on our ability to communicate face to face, and the influence it has had upon our grammar. However, one often forgets how social media makes it very easy to harass and stalk others. In an age when children are being subjected to constant advertisements purporting the perfect body type or personality traits, social media can become a dangerous weapon for use by bullies. Perhaps Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd put it best when he stated, “As I child I can remember my mother telling me ‘sticks and stones can break your bones but words can never hurt you. Today, words stick, because they’re printed. And words are as hurtful — and sometimes more hurtful — as sticks and stones…Ask Rebecca’s family.”

Image via Facebook

About the Author

Brian PowellBrian Powell is a contract writer for WebProNews. In his day job, he is a teacher and tutor for The Princeton Review. He also serves as an assistant coach to Transylvania University's Speech and Debate team.

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  • Loretta Williams

    I am so sorry that Rebecca felt they only way to get some relief was to take her own life. Just a baby with her whole life ahead of her. My condolences go out to her family and friends.

  • Nicole Neary

    So I have a seventh enlightenment Buddhist monk clearance combined with a few other things.. and when I read that I saw a bit of Christian Slater tied to the Bleach statement. Christian Slater is the incest of Bill Clinton… Is this for real.. or this another piece of sensational journalism meant to steal from our wholesome upbringing? WTF?

    • Confused Guy

      Why do I not understand any part of this comment? It seems like random words put together without any sense. Not trying to be funny, I genuinely have no idea what you comment means.

    • Meg

      Dare I ask what you’re talking about Nicole? Your comment makes absolutely no sense.

    • joe blow

      I think this is a “Heathers” reference, but it’s mostly just random words jumbled together which make no sense.

  • Our Kids

    Our kids are not kids anymore. They are really out of control and are not the kids of the 50s or 80s or even 90s. Parents are kidding themselves if they think they are as innocent as past generations.

    Having said that, I highly encourage people that are being bullied online to just turn the computer off. A long time ago, I learned that not everyone in the world is going to like me and that is okay because not everyone in the world is worth knowing. Life is long, people come and go. New people will come along. When they do, surround yourself with kind, compassionate, and loving friends. Friends that do not do hateful things. Eventually you will find someone wonderful to be around and if you don’t, with time, you will find the strength to walk alone in this world. You will find your place in the world.

    Above all else, if you need help, find an adult that will help. Trust me, there are still good people out there. People that may have gone through exactly what you are going through.

    Last but not least, always know you have Christ. I have been to some of the most terrible places on this planet. Death was literally all around me. But, I always had Christ. He heard my prayers and he will hear yours. Trust and be patient and he will come through for you.

  • Meg

    Suicide is so tragic, and my heart goes out to her and her family. It’s too bad that the perpetrators will receive so little punishment for what they instigated. Their lack of remorse indicates psychopathic or narcissistic behaviour that does not disappear when children grow up. I’ve never understood the idea of juveniles getting away with murder because they “don’t know any better”. Yeah right they don’t. We’re not talking about 2-year-olds here. Even though the girls didn’t actually commit murder, their actions should be punished and not forgotten under a false assumption that they will grow up and become responsible and compassionate adults.