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.

rebecca sedwick
Abby Gregory, NBCDFW

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.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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