Charges have been dropped against two teenage girls in Florida who were accused of remorselessly stalking a 12-year old girl until she killed herself.
Only one of the two accused bullies has since expressed regret over the multi-month campaign of hate that led to the Sept. 9 suicide of Rebecca Sedwick, who was tormented for almost a year by as many as 15 other young girls until she climbed a tower at an abandoned cement plant in Lakeland and threw herself to her death.
The alleged ringleader of the bullying, and one of the two girls to face charges until yesterday, 14-year-old Guadalupe Shaw, reportedly started dating a former boyfriend of Rebecca’s last year, and at that time began taunting the younger girl.
At one point, Shaw (pictured, right) challenged Rebecca to a fight and told her to “drink bleach and die.” It was Shaw who recruited Rebecca’s onetime best friend, Katelyn Roman, to join in the bullying.
All of this would seem like cruel, but not otherwise unexpected, schoolyard antics among early adolescents who can be sadistic to each other in ways that seem unthinkable to most adults. But bullies will often grow bored and move on after some period of time. In this case, as seems to have happened in many recently reported cases, the cruelty against Rebecca never let up.
After Rebecca committed suicide, Shaw posted a particularly heartless message on Facebook — one of which she later denied actually writing.
“Yes ik I bullied REBECCA nd she killed her self but IDGAF”
Spelling, capitalization and lack of punctuation are from the original posting, in which “ik” is short for “I know” and “IDGAF” is an acronym for “I don’t give a f***.”
When Shaw was arrested, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd described the girl as “very cold” and having “no emotion at all.”
Roman (pictured left), on the other hand, is reported to be in counseling and has expressed remorse on several occasions for her role in the campaign of personal destruction against Rebecca.
Roman’s attorney, Jose Baez, called Roman “a troubled young girl” who had been the victim of bullying herself.
Baez condemned the arrest of Roman, and Judd’s public revelation of her name and photo as “reckless,” but the sheriff said he made his point, saying he was “exceptionally pleased with the outcome of the case.”