Bullying Went Too Far

***READER DISCRETION IS ADVISED***

Posts about real school tragedy, crime and/or events can be upsetting.

Robin Lyons' Blog Post #142If you watch network news or you’re on Facebook, you probably saw the piece this week where a middle school boy’s mother recorded him talking about how being bullied makes him feel.

After the story aired the focus shifted from the bullied boy to his mother’s social media posts.

In the research I’m sharing in this post, the same thing occurred. It makes me wonder why people shift the focus—to one-up the story?

BLOG POST #134: This week, I’m sharing research on a specific criminal case involving two 13-year-old girls.

Tell Your Parents

The social media cyberbullying began with name calling. The anonymous online bully told the 13-year old girl she was ugly and dumb. Then the young girl did the right thing; she told her parents.

It serves no purpose to pass judgment as to why the parents didn’t have their daughter take a break from social media; they didn’t. The parents had access to their daughter’s accounts and monitored the bullying.

Bully At Large

The bully taunted the young teen and used events such as the death of her grandfather and uncle by saying everybody that she loved was dying and she was going to be next.

Bullying Turned Into Stalking

Photos of the girl were taken from the vantage point of looking through windows at her home and then posted on social media with an added threat that the bully knew everything the girl was doing.

Schools Don’t Know What To Do

After her mother spoke with the school, she felt there wasn’t enough being done to protect her daughter, so she pulled her from the school and then went to the media.

The school district released a statement after the television stories aired, assuring parents that the district has policies in place to “ensure that students receive their education in an environment free from bullying.”

I’m pretty sure all school districts have such policies. Whether or not they follow through is what matters.

Somebody Make It Stop

Afraid to go outside, the girl became a prisoner in her home.

Friends created a Facebook campaign to show support using the hashtag “#[her name]sarmy.” The bully/stalker countered with a campaign using the hashtag “#[her name]haters.”

Her parents sought help from the local law enforcement who in turn asked for assistance from the Cyber Crimes Unit of the Attorney General’s Office.

At one point the bully tried to rally the girl’s friends to join in by messaging them with comments like, “Please help me. We can end her together. It will be easy. Just get her {expletive} alone.”

Her mother shared screen shots from social media showing comments which read, “I will not stop until all of her friends hate her. Or she dies.” And, “Just die already. Wait until I get your number honey. Then I’ll get you. I will come. All in good time.”

The school district said they were ready to take appropriate action if this turned out to be bullying from students.

The End Is Near

After enduring eight months of cyberbullying from an unknown person, the Cyber Crimes Unit finally traced the IP address, and local law enforcement arrested a 13-year-old girl on charges of making false accusations and tampering with evidence.

In the state where the crimes occurred, cyberbullying usually falls under stalking, a third-degree felony.

Because the case involves a juvenile the rest of the story remains protected. I wish I had more for you. It’s a true story cliffhanger.

My ‘Take Away’ in this case: Clearly, the bully had too much unsupervised time to use social media. This child didn’t use a service where the post disappeared after being read. Her parents could have seen what she was posting had they watched her, but she was quite savvy and utilized at least six different profiles to deliver her cruel messages.

What do you think about this case? Join the conversation on the website. We talk about the sensitive subject of crimes occurring at or connected to schools. Your relevant comments are always welcome on the Research Blog.

Do you know of a school crime you’d like to share? Email me so we can discuss the details.

Thanks for reading!

-Robin

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