Bills Filed to Make Bullying Illegal in Florida

The bill would make it a first-degree misdemeanor to willfully, maliciously or repeatedly harass or cyberbully another person, and a third-degree felony if there's a "credible threat" involved in the harassment.

Friday, Jan 17, 2014  |  Updated 4:36 PM EDT
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Facebook Messages Released in Florida Cyberbullying Case That Led to Girl's Suicide

Rebecca Sedwick

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Stepmom of Teen Accused in Florida Bullying Case Arrested: Deputies

Florida deputies said they arrested on Friday the stepmother of a 14-year-old accused of bullying a girl prior to her suicide because she punched two boys who had been fighting on a bed.

Facebook Messages Released in Florida Cyberbullying Case That Led to Girl's Suicide

A 12-year-old girl was in juvenile court Friday morning, where she was expected to be arraigned on an aggravated stalking charge for allegedly harassing Rebecca Sedwick. Sedwick, 12, jumped to her death after being bullied for months, according to authorities. But the 12-year-old defendant’s attorney, Jose Baez, said she is being bullied by the legal system.
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The mother of a Florida girl who committed suicide after she was allegedly bullied is backing a bill that would make bullying illegal in the state.

Tricia Norman appeared along with her attorney and State Representative Heather Fitzenhagen at a news conference today to announce that HB 451 and an accompanying bill in the Florida Senate have been filed.

The bill would make it a first-degree misdemeanor to willfully, maliciously or repeatedly harass or cyberbully another person, and a third-degree felony if there's a "credible threat" involved in the harassment.

Norman's daughter, 12-year-old Rebecca Sedwick, committed suicide in September. A month later, the Polk County Sheriff's Office arrested two of her classmates, ages 12 and 14, on charges of aggravated stalking. Those charges were dropped because of insufficient evidence.

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