The mother of a 12-year-old Florida girl is suing two teenagers who allegedly tormented her daughter so much that she jumped to her death.
Tricia Norman filed a wrongful death suit against Katelyn Roman, 13, and Guadalupe Shaw, 14, who prosecutors dropped criminal charges against last week in the death of Rebecca Sedwick.
The mother is also seeking stricter state laws that would criminalize bullying.
“I am going to make sure that other children are not tormented like my daughter was,” Norman said on Monday.
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“Bullying has become a problem of epidemic proportions within our society,” Matt Morgan, Norman’s lawyer added.
Sedwick died Sept. 9 after she jumped from a tower at an abandoned concrete plant. She was bullied for almost a year by as many as 15 other girls.
Katelyn Roman appeared on NBC's TODAY show with her parents and lawyer Jose Baez shortly after the charges against her were dropped for lack of evidence. The teen stated rather simply that she didn’t feel like she did anything wrong.
Roman and Shaw were arrested after Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd saw a post on Facebook that showed no remorse for Sedwick's death. The sheriff claims the message was written by the 14-year-old.
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Shaw’s alleged Facebook post read, “Yes ik [I know] I bullied Rebecca nd she killed her self but IDGAF [I don’t give a f***].”
After the charges were dropped, Judd said he was pleased with the outcome of the case.
“We see the children are going to get the services they need,” Judd told reporters, referring to both girls receiving counseling. “That’s the best outcome for juveniles. Our goal is that these kids never bully again.”
Roman’s family is considering legal action against Judd, who revealed the accused teens’ names and mug shots to the press and public. Baez said the family does “want to look into any and every possible remedy at their disposal.”
“I think his conduct was reprehensible and I’m glad Katelyn has the opportunity to stand forward today and say, ‘I’m innocent,’” Baez said during the interview.
Sources: TODAY, New York Daily News