Mom of bullied girl files lawsuit against Polk Co. schools, other teen



POLK COUNTY, Fla. - The mother of a Polk County girl who committed suicide after police said she was bullied by her classmates has filed a new lawsuit.

Rebecca Sedwick, 12, jumped to her death at a concrete plant in Lakeland last year.

Sedwick's mother, Tricia Norman, filed the suit late Monday morning against several defendants, including the Polk County School District.

Other defendants in the suit include Guadalupe Shaw, 14, who is the girl accused of tormenting Sedwick, along with Shaw's father.

Norman's attorney, Matt Morgan, said the lawsuit should be a message to other parents who allow their children to bully others.

"This suit should send a message to parents that you can't put your head in the sand when you're aware that your child is bullying another. And, it should send a message to the bully themselves: If you bully another you will be held accountable one way or another," said Morgan.

The suit names the Polk County School Board for allegedly not protecting Sedwick from harassment and physical violence at Crystal Lake Middle School.

The suit also includes Cemex Construction. Sedwick jumped to her death from one of its buildings.

"They're reliving the death of their daughter. She deals with this every single day of her life. It's not going away. But at least this filing and this lawsuit brings us one step closer to justice, which is what she's looking for," said Morgan.

Another girl Katelyn Roman, 12, was initially arrested with Shaw for stalking. Roman is not named in the suit and the stalking charges against both girls were dropped by prosecutors.

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