Bill filed to make bullying illegal in Florida

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press
The mother of a Florida girl who committed suicide after she was allegedly bullied is backing a bill that would make bullying illegal in the state.

(courtesy Rebecca Sedwick - Against Bullying/Facebook.)

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TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- The mother of a Florida girl who committed suicide after she was allegedly bullied is backing a bill that would make bullying illegal in the state.

Tricia Norman appeared along with her attorney and State Representative Heather Fitzenhagen at a news conference today to announce that HB 451 and an accompanying bill in the Florida Senate have been filed. The bill would make it a first-degree misdemeanor to willfully, maliciously or repeatedly harass or cyberbully another person, and a third-degree felony if there's a "credible threat" involved in the harassment.

Norman's daughter, 12-year-old Rebecca Sedwick, committed suicide in September. A month later, the Polk County Sheriff's Office arrested two of her classmates, ages 12 and 14, on charges of aggravated stalking. Those charges were dropped because of insufficient evidence.


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