After a fight with a former friend, reportedly over a "boyfriend situation", Rebecca Sedwick was suspended.
When Rebecca reported she was being bullied, the school worked with Tricia, Rebecca's mother, to change Rebecca's schedule. Tricia had her daughter close her Facebook account, too.
Still, the troubles continued; after her Mom spotted scratches on her arms, Rebecca admitted she was cutting
and was Baker-Acted
into a mental hospital at the beginning of the calendar year.
Now, though, Rebecca was starting over, beginning the school year at a brand new school. Tricia was relieved to know her twelve year-old daughter never had to see those girls again.
What Tricia didn't know was that Rebecca still heard from her bullies all the time. The girl checked Kik Messenger, ask.fm, and Instagram incessantly, reading what they'd said about her, to her, responding with defeated and depressed agreement when they told her nobody cared about her. When they told her, "You should be dead," She changed her username to The Dead Girl,
turned her screensaver into a picture of herself with her head resting across the railroad tracks near her home.
Last Monday, Rebecca skipped classes at her new school. The automated messaging system at Lawton Chiles Middle School malfunctioned in some way; Tricia never knew her daughter was absent. Though Rebecca contacted her friend Jameson with her intentions early that morning, perhaps reaching out for help, the boy chose not to tell anyone about the texts he received.
Sometime during that day, September 9th, twelve-year-old Rebecca Sedwick
climbed the silo at an abandoned concrete factory
near her home and committed suicide, jumping to her death.
The Polk County Sheriff's press conference details the circumstances of Rebecca's suicide, and the possibility of charges against the bullies--as many as fifteen girls who terrorized her online for months, suggesting, "Why don't you go kill yourself?"