Parents of Accused Bullies Should Be Charged in 12-Year-Old Florida Girl's Suicide

Horrifying 16

The heartbreaking story of Rebecca Sedwick, the 12-year-old girl from Florida who killed herself last month after being relentlessly bullied by 15 tween and teenage girls, continues to spark debate and rile up emotions -- and for good reason. The sheriff who arrested two girls -- a 14-year-old and a 12-year-old -- accused of acting as the ringleaders in this cyberbullying case has now said authorities are trying to figure out if they can charge the 14-year-old's parents, as well. 

The older girl recently made headlines for coldheartedly -- and stupidly -- posting on her Facebook: "Yes ik [I know] I bullied REBECCA nd she killed her self but IDGAF [I don't give a f**k]" She has since denied writing this post and says her Facebook account was hacked. For the sake of humanity, I hope she is telling the truth. 

But the fact that her mom and dad are still allowing Facebook and haven't ripped every computer out of this girl's undeserving hands backs up the point the authorities are trying to make about who deserves the blame for this heinous crime.  

According to the sheriff, the girl's parents are in total denial about what she did. He also says they became aware of their daughter's cyberbullying actions, but continued to allow her to use social media sites, which he says could count toward the charge contributing to the delinquency of a child. Thankfully, cops placed the girl in a juvenile detention center before she could do any more damage online.

It seems like a long shot that this girl's parents will actually face charges, but why the hell not? If you know your child is abusing drugs and you continue to provide him with a pipe and lighter, you're contributing to the delinquency of your child.

Why should this case be any different? It's a hundred times worse, in my opinion, because now you've allowed your daughter to continue abusing another girl until she felt the only way out was to kill herself. Did these parents think the Internet was an untouchable realm they couldn't control? Did they even try to limit her involvement on these sites? 

I feel bad when parents are unaware of what's happening in their children's lives. But that doesn't seem to be the case with this suspect. And if the sheriff's statements are true, I really hope they can find some way to hold these parents accountable for their daughter's actions, if only to serve as a reminder to all parents that disciplining our children is as crucial as putting food on the table. 

Do you think the parents of the suspect in this case are to blame for their daughter's actions? 


Image via a2gemma/Flickr

crime, cyberbullying, death, in the news, media, social media


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nonmember avatar GhostWriterL

Charge them as complicit in a negligent homicide, conspiracy, being accomplices, whatever it takes. That little shit deserves to have her childhood, at the very least, ruined... I hope the felony charges stick on the both of them and go into their adulthood.

nonmember avatar enahs

I think parents should always be held, at least partially, be held responsible for their child's actions.

nonmember avatar Meg

I really do not like the idea of punishing someone for someone else's actions.

nekoy... nekoyukidoll

absolutely.  Too often parents play the "friend" card and don't parent when they need to.  they pull the "oh my sweet child would never do that, he/she's a good person" and look where it leads.  parents need to take responsibility for their lack of discipline.

I knew a family whose three daughters where (are as far as I know) bullies online and the parents did (do) nothing to stop them.  the youngest got "grounded" from social media twice, once for putting a comment on how she was abused and the second time for cussing out someone.  of course the parents are just as bad; the mom once put a post up threatening a guy who hit one of the girls cars.  and what's really sad is they play the victim card about how they're so bullied and such.  

ktobin2 ktobin2

The bullies should be charged, not their parents who had nothing to do with the bullying.

Lucky... Luckysgirl665

ktobin2, so your saying even though the parents knew what their bratty daughter was doing and just didn't care they aren't to be blamed in some capacity? What would you do if you fund out your kid was bullying someone just shrug and ignore it? If I found out my son was bullying someone  I would ge him off the computer ASAP! Have him apologize to the other child(children), take him to the police station and let them show him where will end up if someone kills themselves as a result of his bullying, give him so many chores he can't see his friends for a least a week, and anything else I think might get it through his thick skull that this is wrong. If all that fails his ass would be in military school. If the parents know what their child is doing and just don't care they are responsible. It is up to us as parents to teach our kids right from wrong, not to ignore their actions instead of correting them and then acting like it didn't matter. We have to take responsibilty for our kids because they learn from our behavior,if you can't be bothered to teach your kids repect, kindness, and responsibilty maybe you  shouldn't be a parent in the first place. I say hold these parents accountable for failing so badly to act as parents. 

D.j. Lord

seems like bloodlust by the folks at every girl that sends out a bikini selfie should have their parents charged? ...seems like the cops wanna get everyone since the brat mouthed off to em

Sarah... SarahHall58

It's a slippery slope. I see both sides. If they can prove that the parents continued to enable the daughter by allowing her to continue with Facebook and texting after finding out what happened then I think that warrants some kind of intervention. However, teenagers are very sneaky. This girl could have had her things taken by her parents and used other people's computers and phones, like maybe at the library, to continue this torture. It depends on the specifics of the situation. Although with reports that I've been reading the parents are totally in denial that their child did anything wrong. I've been through that personally when I was bullied. It was right there printed out on paper and the girls mother STILL said it wasn't her daughter even when the girl admitted it was her. That's the kind of thing that warrants an intervention.

Jaghd810 Jaghd810

I don't see how allowing a child to use social media can be interpreted as contributing to the delinquency of a child.  Nor do I see how it compares to a parent allowing drug use.  Two totally different agendas.  The mere fact a child is using drugs and the parents don't do anything and it could be considered contributing means any parent who allows their child to use social media should be charged with contributing right from the start.  Therefore, no minor should be allowed to use social media, and if you want to get technical, no minor should be allowed on the Internet.  Does that make sense?  No, it doesn't.  And charging the parents is wrong as well.  If this child's parents are charged then we must go back to every case on every courts docket involving a minor and charge the parents for those crimes.  So let's get real.  Stop the finger pointing and media justice.  If you don't stop, you are setting up a very dangerous path.  You will no longer be able to parent as you see fit.  There will be strict rules, everyone the same whether you agree or not.

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