Cyber-Bullying Leads to Preteen’s Suicide

As a juvenile criminal defense attorney in State College, Pennsylvania, I am well aware of the dangers of cyber-bulling and the life-altering effects such emotional battery can have on a child’s psyche.

A recent story from The New York Times highlights a girl, attacked and abused over social media by her middle school peers, jumping to her death from atop a platform of an abandoned cement plant.

Police are considering filing charges against the middle school students who terrorized the girl with abusive text messages.

Rebecca Ann Sedwick is just the latest member of a growing list of children and teens driven to suicide after apparent bullying online.

Rebecca was a pretty and smart student. She was bullied by fifteen other children, who urged her to kill herself in Lakeland, Florida.

The girl’s mother had taken some steps to prevent the bullying, complaining to the school’s administration and eventually pulling Rebecca out of the school. She closed her daughter’s Facebook page and took her cellphone away, even changing her number.

Rebecca was so distraught by the attacks that she began to cut herself.

At her new school, it seemed the girl was finally beginning to recover, trying out for chorus, considering cheerleading again, and acting like her old bubbly self.

Unfortunately, her mother was unaware that she was now on new applications—, Kik, and Voxer—which had opened the door to cyber-bullying once again.

The local sheriff says Rebecca had been using the messaging applications to send and receive texts and photographs.

This story is one all parents and guardians should be aware of, with the scary message that cyber-bullying is real. Be aware of your child’s online activity—they may become the victims of bullies or even the bullies themselves.

If you have questions about this case or about the possible charges for juvenile cyber-bulling, contact an experienced juvenile defense attorney.

Cyber-Bullying Leads to Preteen’s Suicide was last modified: February 18th, 2016 by William Arbuckle