A 12-Year-Old Girl from Florida Becomes Latest Casualty of ‘Cyberbullying’
Parents should be more watchful of their teenaged kids who are into social networking. These days, young people could easily fall as victims of what is more popularly referred to as ‘cyberbullying.’ It is a form of bullying that is facilitated through social media and mobile communication apps.
This past week, another young girl committed suicide after being subjected to ruthless cyberbullying. Rebecca Ann Sedwick, a resident of Lakeland town in central Florida killed herself through jumping from a platform of an abandoned cement facility near her home last Monday. She was just 12 years old.
Sedwick’s death is so far the latest reported by the media. There is currently a trend of teens committing suicide after incurring cruel and mean treatment from other teens online through social networks and messaging apps. Such cases have been increasing in number and tend to become more common especially in the US.
Attacked virtually by other girls
According to the office of the Polk County sheriff, over a dozen girls of the same age range have already been identified for bullying Sedwick. The bullying began when she got into a dispute with another girl over a boy that she had dated for some time. The office of the sheriff concluded that Sedwick was clearly terrorized especially on social media.
As days went on, the bullying got more intense. Aside from the social media, Sedwick was also attacked through her mobile phone. In fact, after her death, her mother found several text messages on her mobile phone inbox that contained derogatory and mean messages, which directly talk about being ‘ugly.’ One text message even directed Sedwick to kill herself.
A mother’s action
Sedwick’s mother tried to protect her daughter from such attacks. That was why she decided to take away Sedwick’s mobile phone, transfer her to another school, and deactivate her Facebook account. For some time, Rebecca seemed alright as she started enjoying her new school.
But without the mother’s knowledge, Sedwick managed to secretly sign in to new mobile apps, including Kik Messenger. That was when cyberbullying directed towards her resumed. It was not clear if her cyber attackers were the same cyberbullies that attacked her before.
The investigation over her death has found that several days before the suicide, Sedwick indicated that she was up to something morbid. That was because before her suicide, she changed her Kik Messenger user name or handle to ‘That Dead Girl.’