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Do you think the parents are to blame for their daughter's actions in bullying a girl into suicide?

Posted by on Oct. 17, 2013 at 8:57 AM
  • 66 Replies

Parents of Accused Bullies Should Be Charged in 12-Year-Old Florida Girl's Suicide

by Lisa Fogarty

The heartbreaking story of Rebecca Sedwick, the 12-year-old girl from Florida who killed herself last month after being relentlessly bullied by 15 tween and teenage girls, continues to spark debate and rile up emotions -- and for good reason. The sheriff who arrested two girls -- a 14-year-old and a 12-year-old -- accused of acting as the ringleaders in this cyberbullying case has now said authorities are trying to figure out if they can charge the 14-year-old's parents, as well. 

The older girl recently made headlines for coldheartedly -- and stupidly -- posting on her Facebook: "Yes ik [I know] I bullied REBECCA nd she killed her self but IDGAF [I don't give a f**k]" She has since denied writing this post and says her Facebook account was hacked. For the sake of humanity, I hope she is telling the truth. 

But the fact that her mom and dad are still allowing Facebook and haven't ripped every computer out of this girl's undeserving hands backs up the point the authorities are trying to make about who deserves the blame for this heinous crime.  

According to the sheriff, the girl's parents are in total denial about what she did. He also says they became aware of their daughter's cyberbullying actions, but continued to allow her to use social media sites, which he says could count toward the charge contributing to the delinquency of a child. Thankfully, cops placed the girl in a juvenile detention center before she could do any more damage online.

It seems like a long shot that this girl's parents will actually face charges, but why the hell not? If you know your child is abusing drugs and you continue to provide him with a pipe and lighter, you're contributing to the delinquency of your child.

Why should this case be any different? It's a hundred times worse, in my opinion, because now you've allowed your daughter to continue abusing another girl until she felt the only way out was to kill herself. Did these parents think the Internet was an untouchable realm they couldn't control? Did they even try to limit her involvement on these sites? 

I feel bad when parents are unaware of what's happening in their children's lives. But that doesn't seem to be the case with this suspect. And if the sheriff's statements are true, I really hope they can find some way to hold these parents accountable for their daughter's actions, if only to serve as a reminder to all parents that disciplining our children is as crucial as putting food on the table. 

Do you think the parents of the suspect in this case are to blame for their daughter's actions?

by on Oct. 17, 2013 at 8:57 AM
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Replies (1-10):
Seasidegirl
by Gold Member on Oct. 17, 2013 at 9:02 AM

Yes, in that they were obviously not monitoring their child's online activities -- a problem that could have worked out the other way (something happening to their child).  Also, reality is that kids with decent, loving, involved parents generally are not going to behave this way.

As for getting the blame legally, I wouldn't go that far. I would deal with the kid via the justice system. The parents will be punished, anyway, with all the $ they're going to have to pay out in legal fees.

rfurlongg
by on Oct. 17, 2013 at 9:04 AM
Possibly. Kids can, and do, many things outside of their parents awareness. That is part of being a teenager. However, I saw an interview with one of the parents (I *think* the 14yr old) and they did not come across as innocent. You never really know though, one public interview does not yield much. I do think the police need to investigate the parents.
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romalove
by Roma on Oct. 17, 2013 at 9:06 AM

The parents are claiming the school didn't tell them their kid was bullying.

The parents don't seem to get that it is up to them to monitor their children's interactions, in life, in school, and online.  

Nicoleb9
by Bronze Member on Oct. 17, 2013 at 9:08 AM
They certainly share the blame with their bully children.
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Avarah
by Member on Oct. 17, 2013 at 9:16 AM
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I think that they should be charged with criminal negligence. They failed to monitor their evil little bastard kid which directly lead to the death of another.

If nothing else, the parents will be shredded in the court of public opinion and, my guess, they'll end up in civil court at some point if there's no other way for the dead girl's family to get their pound of flesh.
momtoscott
by Platinum Member on Oct. 17, 2013 at 9:18 AM

If they were aware of their child's actions and did nothing, then they share some of the blame for her bullying.  I don't know what the legal ramifications would be.   

mom2the.rescue
by Bronze Member on Oct. 17, 2013 at 9:23 AM

In many cases, I don't think the parents should be held responsible.  Kids can be wonderful little liars.  But in this case, apparently the parents did know their daughters were being horrible little bitches and they didn't deserve computer or telephone priveledges.  I've read and heard of comments those parents allegedly made...and it sounds like they need some discipline themselves.  My heart aches for the mother of the victim.  

kaylamom2004
by Bronze Member on Oct. 17, 2013 at 9:26 AM

Partly. Yes.  I believe it is a parent's responsibility to raise their children with compassion and morals & values. And if there's a kid of theirs that has issues, it's their responsibility as well to seek them emotional/mental help.

romalove
by Roma on Oct. 17, 2013 at 9:26 AM
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Quoting momtoscott:

If they were aware of their child's actions and did nothing, then they share some of the blame for her bullying.  I don't know what the legal ramifications would be.   

I agree with your first sentence.

But

I also think being unaware gives them just as much blame.  They should be aware of what their 12 and 14 year olds are doing.  It is our responsibility as parents to know.

sunrisekn
by Dawn on Oct. 17, 2013 at 9:27 AM

Yes, maybe not completely but at the very least, partially to blame 

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