Judd promises cyberbullying investigation - FOX 26 News | MyFoxHouston

Judd promises cyberbullying investigation

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WINTER HAVEN (FOX 13) -

The facts are ugly, and especially terrifying for parents: Rebecca Sedwick, the 12 year-old Lakeland girl who committed suicide earlier this week, jumped to her death from a tower at a former cement plant.

Relatives and investigators say she was bullied to death -- first at her school, then on the net.

"I feel if something had been done, and this had been handled properly, that we wouldn't be here to miss her right now," her grandmother Pat Jones told FOX 13.

On Thursday, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd defended his agency and the Polk County school district.

"I may have a child that doesn't like me, but if I can't stop the bullying any other way, I can stop the device," said Judd.

Judd says he believes that Rebecca's mom, Tricia Norman, tried to help, but he seemed to stop short of saying she should have gone further.

The bullying began at Crystal Lake Middle School last year. Norman says Rebecca was jumped several times. The school changed her classes.

The Polk Sheriff's Office investigated, but says the incidents were not criminal.

Norman decided to home-school her daughter. Then this year, she put her into a new school. Norman says she seemed to be happy.

The sheriff's office is now investigating 15 girls and has seized a number of cell phones. Judd says anyone who is found to be a cyber bully will be prosecuted under a new state law.

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