A lawsuit was filed earlier this week by the parents of a 12-year-old Florida girl who killed herself as a result of bullying by her classmates.
Police reports state that Rebecca Sedwick had gone through months of bullying at the hands of schoolmates, even switching schools to make it stop. Nothing worked, and Sedwick eventually jumped from a silo at an abandoned cement plant last September, writes Barbara Liston for Reuters.
“I feel like I need to have some definitive answers and get some form of justice for Becca in order to start the whole healing process,” Sedwick’s mother Tricia Norman said.
The lawsuit, which accuses the school of negligence for ignoring the bullying, points to ‘G.S.’, who is only identified by her initials since she is a minor, as the main instigator of the bullying. It states that G.S. had told Sedwick to “drink bleach and die,” and to “go kill yourself”.
“Defendant G.S.’s outrageous conduct included a Facebook posting by Defendant G.S., subsequent to Plaintiff’s decedent taking her own life that stated, “Yes ik [I know] I bullied Rebecca nd [and] she killed herself but IDGAF [I don’t give a f**k],” the lawsuit said.
Attorneys are calling the actions by G.S. “exceeding all bounds of decency and utterly intolerable in a civilized community.”
G.S. and a 12-year-old girl had been arrested last October as a result of Sedwick’s death and charged with felony aggravated stalking. The charges were dropped due to lack of evidence.
“You see a pattern of harassment, a pattern of intimidation and that’s what they did. They intimidated this girl. They harassed her. She had no peace,” Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd told CBS News in October 2013.
Sedwick’s parents are asking for $15,000 from each of the defendants, including the Polk County School District for their part in allowing the bullying to take place even after having knowledge that it was taking place.
“Defendant school board knew or should have known that its failure to adequately and expeditiously discipline G.S. for her conduct would result in a further escalating pattern of disruptive and violent behavior which, in turn, would threaten the safety of Crystal Lake students,” the lawsuit said.
The lawsuit is also aimed at Cemex Construction Materials of Florida, which owned the silo, claiming the company should have taken better care of any abandoned facilities they might own. If the proper fence had been in place around the perimeter of the facility it is believed that Sedwick would not have been able to access the silo to kill herself.
Although nothing will bring her daughter back, Norman is hoping the lawsuit will stop these actions from causing another death, report Jason Wheeler and Laurie Davison for News 13.
“If the people are found responsible, maybe they’ll change and another kid won’t lose their life. Another parent won’t have to go through what we’re going through,” she said.