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Thread: Rebecca Sedwick (12) Commits Suicide After 1.5 Years of Being Bullied

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    Senior Member knavekid's Avatar
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    Rebecca Sedwick (12) Commits Suicide After 1.5 Years of Being Bullied

    This is so sad.

    Lakeland Girl Commits Suicide After 1? Years of Being Bullied

    LAKELAND | A 12-year-old Lakeland girl was found dead early Tuesday morning at an abandoned cement business in what her family is calling an apparent suicide.

    Only a few hours before Polk County Sheriff deputies found her body, Rebecca Ann Sedwick changed her name on a social media messaging application to "That Dead Girl," but no one noticed until it was too late.

    Polk County Sheriff deputies are still investigating the girl's death, but her family said they fear Sedwick took her own life after more than a year and a half of constant cyber-bullying.

    "She has been bullied before and people had told her she needed to kill herself," Sedwick's sister, Summer Howard, said. "But we all thought she was fine now. No one had known."

    Sedwick, of 135 Arizona Ave., was last seen leaving her home Monday about 6:45 a.m., according to the Polk County Sheriff's Office. Her mom, Tricia Norman, said she thought her daughter had walked to the school bus.

    When Sedwick didn't come home Monday by 6 p.m., Howard, 19, called their mom, who contacted Sedwick's school, Lawton Chiles Middle Academy.

    Norman said she was never notified that Sedwick had not showed up for class.

    Polk County School District officials declined to comment on the district's policy regarding how parents are notified when students are absent.

    Lawton Chiles Middle Academy Principal Sharon Neuman said the school system has an automated system that contacts parents if their child is absent, but based on information she received from the district office, the system had problems after going through an upgrade and is not in use.

    "I don't believe they would have gotten the message yesterday," she said.

    Deputies searched for several hours before finding Sedwick about 2:25 a.m. lying on the ground at a former Cemex cement site at 315 N. Eastside Drive, Lakeland, the Sheriff's Office said. Cemex representatives were at the location Tuesday morning, but declined to comment.

    Howard said she told deputies Sedwick has snuck into the abandoned site, which is about half a mile from their home, to climb on the cement silos.

    When deputies found the girl's body there, Howard and her family were devastated.

    "I don't know what I'm doing," Norman said. "I don't know what I'm supposed to do next. I just lost my world.

    "My life is just never going to be the same, I'm missing a big part of it, a huge part of it."

    The Polk County Sheriff's Office said Sedwick had made comments about wanting to hurt herself before leaving for school Monday, but Norman said she thought her daughter's rough past with bullying was over.

    "She put on a perfect, happy face, she never told me," Norman said. "I never had a clue. I mean, she told me last year when she was being bullied but not this year and I have no idea why."

    Norman said she pulled Sedwick out of Crystal Lake Middle School in February after a group of peers jumped her and started sending her hateful text messages, such as "You're ugly," "Why are you still alive?" and "Go kill yourself."

    The bullying got so bad at Crystal Lake that Norman said she had her daughter Baker Acted earlier this year after finding self-inflicted cuts on her arms and legs.

    "When she was being bullied at Crystal Lake Middle, she used to come home every day and tell me how she wasn't worth anything, that she was ugly, how she was stupid," Norman said. "And I said, ?Baby what on earth would make you think that? You're the most beautiful person I know and the smartest person I know.' "

    According to the Polk County School District website, bullying is defined as the systematic or chronic infliction of physical or psychological hurt on a person. It can include teasing, intimidation, stalking, public humiliation and physical violence, among other things. School policy strictly prohibits all forms of bullying.

    Norman said when the bullying didn't stop at Crystal Lake Middle, despite multiple complaints and school interventions, she decided to home-school her daughter for the remainder of last school year. Last month, she moved Rebecca to Lawton Chiles Middle Academy, where she started seventh grade with what Norman said she hoped was a fresh start.

    Neuman said the school was just getting to know Rebecca. She remembered her smiling face as she walked to class. In those moments, the girl never seemed to give an outward sign of distress.

    After breaking the news of the girl's death to teachers and students, Neuman said everyone was left wondering why this happened.

    "Adults need to be openly communicating with our kids," she said. "We try to do that with them, so we know if they're hurting. But we saw no indication of that with her. We were just getting to know her."

    Howard said she was close to her sister and had no idea she was still being bullied.

    "She kept it all to herself," Howard said.

    The 12-year-old was helping her friend, Alecia Wilkins, 18, plan Wilkins' wedding, in which she was going to be a bridesmaid. She seemed happy, Wilkins said.

    But after deputies searched Rebecca's cell phone, her family learned the cyber-bullying hadn't stopped.

    Rebecca was being bombarded with messages on her cell phone from social media applications, such as Kik Messenger, Instagram and Ask.fm, an anonymous messaging site.

    "People just need to stop bullying, period," Howard said. "You never know whose life you're affecting."

    Norman said she hopes other parents can learn from her tragic situation so nobody has to go through what she's facing right now. And even though Rebecca seemed happier, the bullies continued to torment her.

    "Parents need to pay more attention. I mean, you think, ?12 years old, how much trouble can they get into, she's my baby?' But parents need to be aware," she said. "I mean, even if your kids are good in school and they seem happy, there still could be something going on. And this is one of those cases where I would rather her be sitting here mad at me because I didn't give her any privacy, than to be gone because I'll never get her back. I'll never get her back."

    An autopsy was completed Tuesday, but results are pending toxicology results, the Sheriff's Office said.

    Norman said deputies found recent photos on Rebecca's phone of razor blades and fresh cut wounds. She said she doesn't know if she will ever understand how or why her daughter decided to take her own life, but she hopes bullies will learn that their words have consequences.

    "They need to realize that when they say these things, kids take them serious," she said. "I mean, especially coming kid to kid, you're on the same level and if somebody says, ?Go kill yourself, you're not worth anything,' they're more apt to believe it."
    My avatar? My daughter drew a picture of me.

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    Chin Checker g r ee n ey e s's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MoonDancer View Post
    And apparently you fuck the mods here.

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    Senior Member becoming's Avatar
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    What a tragedy. Beautiful girl gone way too soon. Those kids sending her messages should be punished but probably won't be.

    I am so torn between giving my 12-year-old son privacy and reading all his texts and messages. I know I would regret not reading them if something like this happened, but I feel icky about doing it, too.

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    Senior Member UncomfortablyNumb's Avatar
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    I hate shit like this. What is wrong with kids these days? When I was a kid/teen I would have never imagined telling someone I disliked to go kill themselves. I just can't. I try so hard to make sure my kids know how awesome they are and how loved they are and I'll never stop. Stuff like this breaks my heart.

    RIP Rebecca.
    Quote Originally Posted by bowieluva View Post
    She transitioned from a stupid asshole to a dumb bitch.

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    Scoopski Potatoes Nic B's Avatar
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    I wonder how she killed herself. So sad. And what is "Baker Acted"? I've never heard that term before...


    Quote Originally Posted by marakisses View Post
    yes i said i will leave it under you storage he said cuddle with me i said shut up it over??? what am i doing wrong??

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    Senior Member SuchAClassicGirl's Avatar
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    I thank God every day that the Internet and social networking sites especially were not around when I was in middle school. I Got bullied relentlessly by a "friend" to the point that I stayed out of school a lot. I probably would've considered this myself if the Internet had been around. What I dealt with turned me into a school counselor so it wasn't ALL bad. You just couldn't pay me enough to go thru middle school again!
    Quote Originally Posted by blighted star
    I was about to be annoyed that this thread was still active, but I see now it's morphed into offers of sex for chilli confectionary, so carry on guys :)

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    Senior Member Peavey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by UncomfortablyNumb View Post
    I hate shit like this. What is wrong with kids these days? When I was a kid/teen I would have never imagined telling someone I disliked to go kill themselves. I just can't. I try so hard to make sure my kids know how awesome they are and how loved they are and I'll never stop. Stuff like this breaks my heart.

    RIP Rebecca.

    I agree it's awful, but nothing about kids 'these days'. In 1960, my father and his peers tortured a schoolmate for being effeminate. I was persecuted in the early 1980s for being fat. My husband, who is my age, had a big nose. Kids have always sucked.

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    Senior Member mialynneb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peavey View Post
    I agree it's awful, but nothing about kids 'these days'. In 1960, my father and his peers tortured a schoolmate for being effeminate. I was persecuted in the early 1980s for being fat. My husband, who is my age, had a big nose. Kids have always sucked.
    Agreed. While kids may have more access to each other, they have always been dicks. My father-in-law was taped in his underwear, to a flagpole - in college - for being Jewish. I wonder what the true number is of kids committing suicide per decade. Not that we'll ever know since I'm sure it was hush hush during certain years.

    For the record, if I smell any hint of bullying in my classes, I have no problem ripping said bully up and down including some form of public shaming in front of classmates. I have zero tolerance for that crap. If need be, I look to make sure nothing out of the ordinary is going on at home with the bully. Mostly it's a case of little shit disorder.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chauncy View Post
    Huh? you're a woman?

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    Senior Member puke's Avatar
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    Its sad when people kill themselves, especially this young. RIP
    Gooble goble gooble goble one of us one of us.

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    Senior Member Pidge's Avatar
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    Pretty girl. Young girls can so petty and jealous. I'd have no problem insisting on my kid's passwords and "checking in" on their internet presence on a regular basis. RIP Rebecca

    And "Baker Acted" refers to the Baker Act, aka the Florida Mental Health Act of 1971 -

    http://www.clerk.co.okeechobee.fl.us/Baker_act.htm
    A Baker Act is a means of providing individuals with emergency services and temporary detention for mental health evaluation and treatment when required, either on a voluntary or an involuntary basis.

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    Senior Member Pidge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nic B View Post
    I wonder how she killed herself. So sad.
    She jumped off a silo. Read that in an article yesterday. Will see if I can find it.

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    Senior Member Pidge's Avatar
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    'You should go and just kill yourself': Family of 12-year-old who 'leaped to her death from abandoned cement silo' reveal the relentless cyber bullying she suffered
    A 12-year-old Florida girl was found dead on Tuesday morning after apparently jumping to her death from the top of an industrial cement silo because she was bullied remorselessly on social media.

    Last seen leaving her home on the way to school at 6.45 a.m. on Monday morning, Rebecca Ann Sedwick was discovered dead at an abandoned cement factory in Lakeland early on Tuesday.

    While police have not officially declared Rebecca's death suicide, her family fear she took her own life after year and a half of constant bullying which caused her to change her name on one of her social media handles to 'That Dead Girl'.

    Her mother, Tricia Norman told Fox 13 in Florida that she reported her daughter missing at 7 p.m. on Monday evening when she failed to return from school.

    She added that other girls had bullied her daughter so badly online at Crystal Lake Elementary School last year, that she pulled her daughter out to home school her for a while before sending her to Lawton Childs Middle Academy, where she seemed happy.

    However, Norman said that the group of five or six girls at Crystal Lake who bullied her on Facebook continued to torment the 12-year-old even after she had left.

    They would write that she was no good, ugly, stupid and 'that you should just go and kill yourself'.

    'I guess for whatever reason, they just didn't like her,' said Tricia.

    Indeed, Norman said that she was so incensed by the bullying at Crystal Lake that she filed two complaints to the school.

    'She has been bullied before and people had told her she needed to kill herself,' Sedwick?s sister, Summer Howard, said to The Ledger. 'But we all thought she was fine now. No one had known.'

    Tragically, Norman said that she was never informed that her daughter did not show up for class on Monday morning because of a problem with Lawton Chiles Middle Academy's automated system.

    In the hours after she was reported missing, deputies searching for her discovered her body at around 2.25 a.m. on the ground at a former Cemex cement site.

    Summer Howard said she told deputies that her sister had snuck into the site, around half a mile from their home, before and used to climb on the cement silos.

    Police forensic officers were seen on Tuesday afternoon at the top of one of the cement silos dusting for fingerprints....

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    Senior Member Pidge's Avatar
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    However, once police checked her cell phone they discovered that the bullying had not stopped, especially on Kik Messenger, Instagram and Ask.fm.

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    Senior Member blighted star's Avatar
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    I hate these stories.

    & re "monitoring your kid's internet access", the truth is, if you have kids anywhere between 8 -18 & they're out of your sight at any time, you have no guarantee they don't have an account somewhere you don't know about.

    If they use a device you don't know about - like a friend's at school, you won't even know there are accounts you need to monitor
    Last edited by blighted star; 06-14-2018 at 02:19 AM. Reason: Edited : tmi

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by blighted star View Post
    I hate these stories, these girls are all so beautiful but shallow little shits at school convince them they're nothing. She was just a baby. A kid feeling so lost & hopeless at 12 is heartbreaking. It sucks even more that her parents weren't notified she never arrived at school. If time of death was much later in the day then the "whatif's" for this family must be excruciating.

    IMPORTANT FOR ANYONE WHO THINKS THEY CAN MONITOR THEIR KIDS ONLINE -

    Re the issue of monitoring your kids accounts, I said the same things you guys always say in these cases & thought I knew exactly what devices & sites my kids had access to. People who don't have kids in this age range NOW & who haven't had an eye-opening incident yet don't really get this. It's not a case of "supervising their internet usage & monitoring their accounts". I was making assumptions like that up until about 3 mths ago. I thought parents with issues had been lazy about monitoring their kids. I thought I was in control of their access. Then my 11 & 12/13 yr old showed me that really, I have no control & there's not a damn thing I can do to change that, outside of homeschooling til they're 83 or so.

    Most kids start high school at 12 yrs here (NSW) & finish at 18. My eldest started this year. A week after he turned 13 an older kid "did him a favour" & made my son his very own personal fb account, complete with his own name & photo - which the other kid snapped a few days earlier in the bus lines. He gave my son the password & kids let him use their phones to access it at school since he didn't have his own (because I think 13 is too young for fb - even if fb & kids think it's just fine).

    It all went great for 4 days until a stalker who had left us alone for a year started messaging him & sending friend requests. Repeatedly. He freaked out & told his little sister who freaked out worse & told me. I was lucky that they talk to me about their problems & didn't try to handle it alone. If they hadn't had this huge fright before they got to like fb & they hadn't come to me for help, how would I ever have known?

    Sure, I could regularly search my kids names on major social-networking sites, but if they didn't use a personal pic as an avatar, I'd have had no way of even knowing he had that account & fb aren't going to check who's behind all the new accounts in his name &see if one of them is my son even if I bombard them with demands. Besides, my kids just learnt a big lesson in the benefits of using a different name & a non-personal avatar - most kids pick this up pretty quickly. If your kids know this lttle trick too & they choose their new name well, you won't get any hits because you won't know what to search.

    The scary truth is, that if you have kids anywhere between 8 -18 & they're out of your sight at any time, you have no guarantee they don't have an account somewhere you don't know about RIGHT NOW.

    If they use a device you don't know about - or have a right to demand access to, how will you even know there are accounts you need to monitor?




    This is so sad. I think more people need to take warning signs more serious. Bless her heart.
    May I add, she was beautiful!!!!

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    Senior Member becoming's Avatar
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    Then maybe it's better to let them have an account that you know about so you can check it regularly?

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    Senior Member SuchAClassicGirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mialynneb View Post
    For the record, if I smell any hint of bullying in my classes, I have no problem ripping said bully up and down including some form of public shaming in front of classmates. I have zero tolerance for that crap. If need be, I look to make sure nothing out of the ordinary is going on at home with the bully. Mostly it's a case of little shit disorder.
    THIS. Call it transference or what you will but this is one thing I will not tolerate nor overlook...and I still remember the sneakiness and they get away with VERY little because I claim tobe able to HEAR their eye rolls to one another
    Quote Originally Posted by blighted star
    I was about to be annoyed that this thread was still active, but I see now it's morphed into offers of sex for chilli confectionary, so carry on guys :)

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    Senior Member animosity's Avatar
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    i don't think there is an issue with letting your kids use the technology, but rather with letting them use it without preparing them for the issues that come up. there was a discussion the other day about parents who try to protect their children's innocence by shielding them from the fact that people may be out to get them.

    it seems like parents aren't having the discussions with their children before hand and think monitoring is enough. ongoing conversations like, 'honey - there are some sick and crazy people out there who use conversations on the internet to steal children and sometimes kill them or do other terrible things. you should keep your friend list to people you already know in person. if someone starts emailing you and you don't know them, give me a heads up and we'll do some research on the person...'

    or, 'sweetheart, there have always been bullies in real life. they are also using the internet to make people miserable now days. if this starts happening to you, let me know and we'll find ways to stop it from happening. of course, it's important not to dwell on it - come to me first, but try to make it a habit to not dwell on any site or page where people may be bullying you. their words are not facts and people who know you understand that the bullies lie.'

    i think a huge part of the problem with raising children is that some parents tell their kids what not to do without explaining the reasons behind it.


    eta: standard disclaimer - i am not a parent...
    Last edited by animosity; 09-14-2013 at 10:33 AM.
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    Prison Mike Angiebla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mialynneb View Post
    Agreed. While kids may have more access to each other, they have always been dicks. My father-in-law was taped in his underwear, to a flagpole - in college - for being Jewish. I wonder what the true number is of kids committing suicide per decade. Not that we'll ever know since I'm sure it was hush hush during certain years.

    For the record, if I smell any hint of bullying in my classes, I have no problem ripping said bully up and down including some form of public shaming in front of classmates. I have zero tolerance for that crap. If need be, I look to make sure nothing out of the ordinary is going on at home with the bully. Mostly it's a case of little shit disorder.
    thank you for a being a teacher that stops bullying. Most teachers don't care to get involved.

    I was bullied a lot as a kid. I didn't tell my parents or anyone because I thought the bullying was my fault somehow. I feel bad for these kids, I know how it feels.

    "The love for all living creatures is the most noble attribute of man" -Charles Darwin

    Quote Originally Posted by bowieluva View Post
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    Senior Member Pidge's Avatar
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    My nephew has been on fb since he was abt 10...his MOTHER made him an account with HER date of birth.
    When he was 13 I noticed he had "friends" who were in their twenties and not a relative....strangers. I brought it up to his father....."oh, they must be ppl he games with" yada yada. Not concerned AT ALL. And this is a very naive, head in the clouds child. Seriously, I don't get some parents. I was freaking and he's not even my kid.

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    Senior Member Sarahric13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by animosity View Post
    i don't think there is an issue with letting your kids use the technology, but rather with letting them use it without preparing them for the issues that come up. there was a discussion the other day about parents who try to protect their children's innocence by shielding them from the fact that people may be out to get them.

    it seems like parents aren't having the discussions with their children before hand and think monitoring is enough. ongoing conversations like, 'honey - there are some sick and crazy people out there who use conversations on the internet to steal children and sometimes kill them or do other terrible things. you should keep your friend list to people you already know in person. if someone starts emailing you and you don't know them, give me a heads up and we'll do some research on the person...'

    or, 'sweetheart, there have always been bullies in real life. they are also using the internet to make people miserable now days. if this starts happening to you, let me know and we'll find ways to stop it from happening. of course, it's important not to dwell on it - come to me first, but try to make it a habit to not dwell on any site or page where people may be bullying you. their words are not facts and people who know you understand that the bullies lie.'

    i think a huge part of the problem with raising children is that some parents tell their kids what not to do without explaining the reasons behind it.


    eta: standard disclaimer - i am not a parent...
    Ani...doesn't matter, you're spot on.

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    Senior Member blighted star's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by becoming View Post
    Then maybe it's better to let them have an account that you know about so you can check it regularly?

    Yeah, for sure, it's still no guarantee though. I know a few parents who like to think their kids are so obedient that they'll never experience this kind of thing. & it's easy to think that as long as you monitor all known devices you're on top of it all, but there's no guarantee the account you set up for them will remain their only account.

    Shit, I'm going to set up a sanitised account for communicating with my mum if she ever joins fb. The older kid's get, the less agreeable they'll be at having an online chaperone, that's a fact every parent is going to face at some point.


    ETA all of which is o/t for Rebecca. It just kills me to se the pix of all these teen suicides. They're always such beautiful intelligent girls. If they could've just held out that little bit longer they'd have escaped their schools & towns & found places where they fit. It's just so hard when you're young, to understand that the pain those bastards cause isn't going to be forever.

    Any teens reading this thread - hold on. One day soon you'll leave all this shit far behind you. Just hold on a little bit longer. It DOES get better.
    Last edited by blighted star; 06-14-2018 at 02:24 AM.

  23. #23
    This is such a tragedy. More need to stand up speak loud until they are heard by everyone that this is NOT ok to do.

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    NOT SAME CAT Fleta's Avatar
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    I think in a lot of these cases, what is actually depression is blamed on "being bullied." This girl had a history of cutting, and BEFORE LEAVING THAT MORNING, she'd made comments about wanting to hurt herself. For fucks sake, this is a parent fail, not social media's fault. She should have been helped, not shielded.

    And "public shaming" of a child sounds like it would be effective, for sure. Really?

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    Senior Member kevansvault's Avatar
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    Baker Act information (I was like too)

    What is a Baker Act?

    A Baker Act is a means of providing individuals with emergency services and temporary detention for mental health evaluation and treatment when required, either on a voluntary or an involuntary basis.

    How are voluntary and involuntary Baker Act Admissions different?

    A voluntary Baker Act is when a person 18 years of age or older, or a parent or guardian of a person age 17 or under, makes application for admission to a facility for observation, diagnosis or treatment.

    An involuntary Baker Act is when a person is taken to a receiving facility for involuntary examination when there is reason to believe that he or she is mentally ill and because of his or her mental illness, the person has refused voluntary examination; the person is unable to determine for himself or herself whether examination is necessary and without care or treatment, the person is likely to suffer from neglect or refuse to care for himself or herself and such refusal could pose a threat of harm to his or her well being; and there is a substantial likelihood that without care or treatment, the person will cause serious bodily harm to himself, herself or others in the near future as evidenced by recent behavior.

    Are there other criteria to know if a Baker Act is appropriate?

    Yes, there is an additional criterion for a voluntary and involuntary Baker Act not included here. For example, a law enforcement officer may transport an individual to a facility for evaluation if there is reason to believe that the individual's behavior meets statutory guidelines for involuntary examination.


    Teen girls can just be fucking mean. It's horrible to watch. So glad my kids don't surround themselves with friends who are in to "drama" and bullshit. Sometimes though, you can't escape it. This poor girl could have used a technology break - stay off the internet if it's a source of the problem. My oldest used to be online all the time, playing games with friends (minecraft/skype) or fb. Now, not much at all. Yaay! More time for me!

    Poor girl. As a parent, this concerns me. But the one time it happened with my kid, he was actually the bully. Once we were made aware, we put an end to it quickly and made sure he understood how words really can hurt, especially when you're young (he was a 7th grader and it was a kid down the street who was fat.) Though they are now friends and the bullying is a thing of the past, I remind him of what he did occasionally to make sure he's the good guy when that shit happens, and not the asshole. He's a junior now and I have to say that I couldn't be prouder of the young man he turned into. Last year when one of his gay friends was being taunted and physically assaulted by a classmate, he stepped in and was like "knock that shit off!" and stood between the offender and his friend. Offender smacked him in the face, and called him a fag lover. My son (scared shitless - his words) said "that's all you got"? And the asshole and his entourage walked away. I had a conference with the offenders parents and school officials on the phone and made it very clear that if that shit happened again (the physical altercation), their son would be back in alternative school or jailed immediately (not the first time he's been an asshole.) It took every ounce of restraint not to be just as big of an asshole to those parents as their child is to others, but it would have served no purpose. There's a reason why kids act the way they do, and it starts at home.
    Don't like what I have to say? I respect that. Now go fuck yourself.

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