WINTER HAVEN, Fla. (MyFoxBoston.com) – A Florida sheriff had strong words Thursday as he took questions about the suicide of a 12-year-old who may have been bullied to death.
Rebecca Sedwick jumped to her death at a cement plant near Lakeland earlier this week. Her mother told MyFoxTampaBay.com that Rebecca had been pushed to the limit by bullies, both at school and online.
In the wake of the girl's death, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said his detectives are investigating as many as 15 girls, and they have seized a number of cell phones.
If they find criminal activity, Judd pledged charges would be filed. But he rejected the idea that Rebecca had been ignored by the system.
"There were a lot of interventions that occurred," he stated. "there were multiple interventions by the school, by the hospital, by counselors, by parents, by the sheriff's office. There were interventions that were attempted but it just didn't work."
One of the specific examples that Judd cited was a message from Rebecca to a 12-year-old boy in North Carolina, in which she announced her intention to kill herself. No one was ever alerted to that message.
And while Judd said Rebecca Sedwick's mother did her best to help her daughter, he encouraged parents everywhere to monitor their kids' internet activity closely.
"There's thousands of kids in these school and there's drama every day. Who's responsible for dealing with that drama? The individual child and the parent and the school systems," he said.
"This social media world, if we allow it, will become more out of control than it really is."
© 2017 Cox Media Group.
Fla. sheriff's dept. investigates 12-year-old's alleged bullying death
US-backed Iraqi forces enter Mosul airport, military base
Governor: Dakota Access protesters can leave without arrest
Claims for US jobless benefits tick up, level still healthy
The Latest: Malaysia wants Interpol help on tracing suspects