Another Teen’s Suicide Linked to Cyberbullying
“Yes IK I bullied REBECCA nd she killed her self but IDGAF,” a 14 year old girl wrote on Facebook in the wake of 12 year old Rebecca Sedwick’s suicide on September 9 in Winter Haven, Florida.
The 14 year old and her 12 year old friend have been charged with aggravated stalking in conjunction with Sedwick’s suicide. Police are being told that Sedwick was being bullied, initially just by the 14 year old for dating her boyfriend the previous year. The 14 year old then recruited Sedwick’s former best friend, the 12 year old, and together, the two harassed Sedwick on the popular social media website, Facebook. SInce they are minors, the two girls’ identities are not being released.
For about a year, Sedwick received messages over the Internet calling her “ugly,” telling her she should “drink bleach and die,” “nobody likes you,” and other abrasive comments. Through out the investigation, the parents of the bullies would not allow their daughters to speak with the police. One parent even went as far as to continue allowing her daughter to post messages on Facebook.
On the Marc Media’s Marc Silverstein recently spoke with McAfee Online Security Expert Robert Siciliano about the another social website frequented by cyberbullies. While the platforms may be different, Siciliano’s words still hold true. Parents should be monitoring their kids while they are online, especially when they are interacting with each other through social media. “There’s no accountability with anonymity,” points out Sicilian. He advises parents who don’t want to interfere with their children’s lives, “trust is overrated.”