12-year-old Rebecca Sedwick jumped to her death in Florida last month because of a dispute she had with a former classmate over a boy. Sedwick died on September 9th. Authorities have arrested two girls, including the 14-year-old who allegedly was Sedwick’s chief tormentor after the girl posted a taunting message on the Internet on Monday about the incident.
“Yes [O]K I bullied REBECCA [a]nd she killed her self but IDGAF,” the Facebook post read, according to CNN affiliate WFTV. [IDGAF means “I don’t give a f***.]
Grady Judd, sheriff of Polk County, Florida said that the 14-year-old’s family is claiming her account was compromised, but investigators disagree. After the girl’s family refused to bring her in for questioning, the police arrested her and a 12-year-old friend at their homes. The girls are being charged with aggravated stalking. According to Judd, the girl was upset that Sedwick had once dated her current boyfriend and began harassing her more than a year ago at a Florida middle school. In addition to cyberbullying her, the girl physically attacked Sedwick on at least one occasion, according to authorities. She also recruited her 12-year-old best friend to help bully Sedwick.
Among the online messages that drove Sedwick to jump to her death from atop an abandoned concrete plant were “You should die” and “why don’t you go kill yourself.”
The night before Sedwick committed suicide, authorities say she messaged a boy she befriended on the Internet and said,
“I’m jumping. I can’t take it anymore.”
Judd expressed frustration with the two girl’s parents who refused to bring them in for questioning. He said he was astonished that this 14-year-old girl was still allowed by her parents to post on the Internet. He said he would charge the child’s parents if he could.
“I’m aggravated that the parents aren’t doing what they are supposed to,…” said Judd.
Bullying is not itself against Florida law, harassment in school and online is a basis for stalking charges. The authorities do not expect to file additional charges. No court date has bee set. Judd said that the girls do not have previous records and the charge is only one step up from a misdemeanor, which effectively means no juvenile detention for the girls if convicted. He implored parents to take more responsibility for the actions of their children online.
“We’ve lost sleep over that child dying needlessly and we want to see things change,” he said. “We want to never, ever, ever investigate a case like that again.”