October 16th, 2013
08:52 AM ET

2 Girls Arrested After Bullying Death

The attorney for a 14-year-old Florida girl charged with aggravated stalking that alledgedly led to the suicide of a 12-year-old classmate told CNN that her client isn't responsible for a controversial Facebook post that led to the suspect's arrest.

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 Sautrday on the Internet about what had happened.

"Yes IK I bullied REBECCA nd she killed her self but IDGAF," the Facebook post read. Grady Judd, sheriff of Polk County, Florida, said the online vernacular meant "I don't give a (expletive)."

The 14-year-old's lawyer, Andrea DeMichael, told CNN her client "says that this is not as clear cut as it seems."

The girl denies she stalked Rebecca and she hasn't accessed Facebook recently, DeMichael said.

The girls, minors who are not being named by CNN, were charged with aggravated stalking.

Rebecca's mother called the arrests the best birthday present her daughter, who would have turned 13 this weekend, could have received.


CNN Legal Analyst Sunny Hostin, and CNN Digital Correspondent Kelly Wallace weigh in. (SEE VIDEO ABOVE)

Hostin believes there should be more legislation holding parents accountable.

“I think people have to legislate criminal responsibility for parents,” Hostin says. “I think this family can certainly sue them civilly, intentional infliction of emotional distress, but I think you have to have parental criminal responsibility.”

Wallace agrees that parenting plays a large role.

“We have to tell our kids that that is just not the way you treat people,”  she says. “ And if you see sort of this ‘gang mentality’ online, we have to teach our kids to be strong enough and courageous enough to step up and say that's not okay.”

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soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. hyacinth smith

    One of the saddest realities is that we never know when our lives are at their peak. Only after it is over and we have some kind of perspective do we realize how good we had it a day. It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.Learn to... be what you are. Keep safety and protection you are responsible with your own protection check this out at http://safekidzone.com/#!/page_home.

    November 8, 2013 at 12:30 pm | Reply
  2. Gary Rasmussen

    I recently watched a movie "Disconnect", that depicted how technology has changed our lives. There are disturbing stories like this over and over. Two out of three of my children are no longer teens. They all have been victims of bullying at one time or another. I also was a victim some decades ago and also did some bullying myself in later years. All of this ended by the time I was in high school. Parents and society as a whole have a serious problem with the common callousness of so many of our people. How do we teach empathy, kindness, love and understanding? We all need help and we all play a roll.

    October 16, 2013 at 9:23 am | Reply

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