Mother of bullied girl wants tougher laws



POLK COUNTY, Fla. - The mother of a Polk County girl who committed suicide after complaining about being bullied is asking lawmakers to pass new state and federal anti-bullying legislation.

Tricia Norman and her attorney said Monday at a news conference that current laws don't do enough.

Polk County detectives said 12-year-old Rebecca Sedwick was the victim of constant bullying that was so bad she jumped to her death at an abandoned cement factory.

Sheriff Grady Judd pointed the finger at Katelyn Roman and Guadelupe Shaw. The pair was charged with aggravated stalking in connection to Sedwick's suicide.

Judd revealed an alleged Facebook post by Guadalupe, who used the name Guadalupe Borgen, that read, "Yes IK I bullied REBECCA and she killed her self but IDGAF."

But last week, those charges were dropped. Norman says she was saddened by the dismissal of the charges because it sends a message that is bullying is acceptable.

Attorney Matt Morgan stood beside Norman during the news conference.

They announced a new campaign to enact what they're calling "Rebecca's Law."

"I will make sure others won't be tormented like my daughter was," Norman said.

The proposed law would hold people criminally liable for bullying on the state level.

The law firm Morgan and Morgan is launching a petition drive to create a federal anti-bullying law that could enhance the current Safe Schools Improvement Act.

"Today marks the first day of our personal crusade against bullying," Morgan said.

Morgan said he plans to file a wrongful death lawsuit against anyone that may have pushed Sedwick to kill herself.

Morgan said the family will seek justice, and go after money from the parents of Roman and Shaw.

"You may find yourself on the wrong side of a lawsuit with your personal assets in jeopardy," Morgan said.

Morgan said they intend to change behavior by using the law and civil justice system.

"I will make sure others won't be tormented like my daughter was. I will take this personal tragedy to make society a safer place to live," said Norman.

Despite two arrests, prosecutors dropped the charges against Shaw and Roman last week.

"I keep waiting for an apology that I know will never come. This lack of personal responsibility is beyond upsetting," Norman said.

Shaw and Roman have agreed to get counseling.

Morgan declined to disclose the names of the people he plans to file suit against, saying it's still in the draft stages.