Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Girls held over bullying suicide

Two American teenagers have been arrested after a young girl killed herself following an online bullying campaign

Two girls have been arrested after a 12-year-old Florida girl killed herself following online bullying for nearly a year.

The girls 12 and 14, have been charged with aggravated stalking.

Rebecca Sedwick was terrorised by as many as 15 girls who ganged up on her and picked on her for months through online message boards and texts. Some of the girls' computers and phones were seized in the investigation.

The bullying began over a "boyfriend issue," and Rebecca had become depressed, police in Winter Haven said.

After the suicide, police looked at her computer and found search queries for topics including "what is overweight for a 13-year-old girl," ''how to get blades out of razors" and "how many over-the-counter drugs do you take to die." One of her screensavers also showed Rebecca with her head resting on a railroad track.

Florida has a bullying law named after a teenager who killed himself after being harassed by classmates. Amended to cover cyberbullying, the law leaves punishment to schools, although police also can seek more traditional charges.

-AP