Florida bullying case raises questions for parents

Florida bullying case raises questions for parents

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

The Florida sheriff investigating a girl's suicide that was brought on by cyber bullies now says he could arrest the suspect's parents. The 12 and 14-year-olds are charged with a felony.

The sheriff says one of the girls hasn't shown any remorse and that's a problem that started at home.

Polk County, Florida Sheriff Grady Judge described one of the two teenagers charged with aggravated stalking as a "mean, nasty little girl." He says they tormented their victim for 10 months in school, online and even in death.

They were arrested and sent to juvenile detention after the sheriff says Rebecca Sedwick, 12, committed suicide.

"The 14-year-old did a post early on Saturday morning about 1 o'clock that said ‘Yes, I bullied Rebecca. Yes, she killed herself and I don't give a (blank),'" Sheriff Judd explained. "We knew that there was total disregard for life and if she would say those things after she bullied Rebecca and after the parents knew that, then we had to act more quickly."

Judd says the young suspects showed no remorse and that's why he had them arrested.

The girl's parents say someone hacked into their teen's Facebook page and posted nasty comments about the victim. Because they didn't know how dangerous or nasty their own child could be to another little girl, the sheriff in Florida says the parents could be held responsible.

"Parents are the first line of defense," Judd said. "And as a result of being the first line of defense they need to monitor their kids and their activities and they say 'oh, I can't monitor that'...find someone who can."

Opinions in Chicago are mixed.

"They're not adults and parents can do what they want and sadly, kids do things that kids do no matter what we tell them," parent Mary Jane Dobbs said. "It's sad but it happens in real life but the parents can not be held responsible---that's another tragedy."

"I think it's not a bad idea," another adds. "I mean, they're young enough where they may need more parental guidance."

Sheriff Grady Judd says he will be digging deep into this investigation and if there's any way to can press charges against the suspect's parents, he will.

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