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Rebecca Sedwick Suicide: Parents to Blame for Their Bullying Children? (+Video)

Society & Culture  (tags: children, abuse, crime, society, culture, safety, education )

P. L.
- 1648 days ago -
Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd talks about the arrest of two juvenile girls in a Florida bullying case at a press conference in Winter Haven Monday.

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P. L. Neola (21)
Thursday October 17, 2013, 4:03 pm
This bullying issue is really out of control in the United States.

When I was a teenager, my father’s alcoholism was out of control. He was mean-spirited and abusive. The stress of surviving in his household was extreme. My high school friends were what held me together. I was blessed with good acquaintances and respect from students I really did not know very well.

(For example, on one of my birthdays, a student, who was a year ahead of me in school and who also rode the same school bus home with me, called and tooted out Happy Birthday on the trumpet for me. She was a band student who sensed that there was something wrong at my home.)

I honestly cannot imagine what it would have been like to have a few jealous, malicious students conspiring against me in those days.

Back then, I sincerely hated going home. However, I had to, because my father would not let me form good relationships with the students I enjoyed being with. I could not stay at their houses for the night nor could they stay at mine.

He was a retired, successful commercial artist. He suffered a mild series of heart attacks that forced him to retire early at the age of 38. He ended up wallowing in his pain for several years after retiring, because he missed owning and running his commercial arts business. He was not like some low-down bum. Unfortunately, I still was ashamed to have any of my school mates meet him.

I am also glad that we did not have social networking back then, because my father would have opposed me in partaking in such sites. I would have died of shame if my classmates knew of his excessive drinking and his abusive mannerisms and were sharing this information on social network sites.

My point is that some home lives are so rough, abusive, neglecting, loveless, and so on that students do not need bullying situations at school. Children, who are being abused at home or at school, feel they have nowhere to go and no one who will listen to them. They feel trapped. And … the thought of suicide must become more appealing than overcoming and surviving!

penny C (85)
Thursday October 17, 2013, 5:07 pm
Thanks Portland.

Roger Skinner (14)
Thursday October 17, 2013, 5:47 pm
While I mostly blame the bullies and to some extent their parents, I can't help but think that the parents of the girl who committed suicide should also shoulder some of the blame. Weren't they monitoring Rebecca's facebook page? Didn't they notice something was bothering their daughter? Couldn't they have done some to help?

P. L. Neola (21)
Thursday October 17, 2013, 5:58 pm
I agree with you Roger. Being that Rebecca was only twelve years old, her parents should have been monitoring her social network sites. A supportive mother and/or father would have help Rebecca cope with what was going on, as well as GOT INVOLVED, whether talking or negotiating with the school's principal or the school district or the local authorities. A receptive parent would have got involved and tried to "snip-it-in-the-bud."

Stan B (123)
Thursday October 17, 2013, 7:50 pm
Social net-working has a lot to answer for. Young children like Rebecca are now subjected to an extra method of bullying which didn't even exist a few years ago. It's a tragedy for all concerned.
Thanks Portland.

P. L. Neola (21)
Thursday October 17, 2013, 9:50 pm
Annual number of youth suicides each year (ages 10-24) … 4,600

Percent of youth suicides that include a firearm … 45 %

Percent of youth suicides that include suffocation … 40 %

Percent of youth suicides that include poisoning … 8 %

Percent of students grades 9-12 who reported seriously considering suicide … 16 %

Percent who reported creating a plan … 13 %

Annual number of youth (age 10-24) who receive medical care for self-inflicted injuries … 157,000

Percent of suicide deaths that are males … 81 %

Teenage Suicide in the United States


Susanne R (234)
Thursday October 17, 2013, 10:33 pm
Since the 14-year old was defiant, expressed no remorse, and even told authorities she was glad Rebecca killed herself, I think it would be a good idea that she be put in a youth detention center or some type of facility where she is kept away from other vulnerable young girls and can get the therapy she needs. She does not deserve to be a member of society. The twelve-year old might also benefit from counseling, and her parents most certainly should keep her away from her 14-year old friend. Such a tragedy for Rebecca's family! And so senseless!

Susanne R (234)
Thursday October 17, 2013, 10:48 pm
I'm so sorry that your childhood was sad, Portland. And I empathize with you because I can relate to much of what you expressed. Since you can't change the past, I think you should try to put a positive spin on what you went through. Ask yourself this: If your life hadn't been filled with so much pain, anxiety and emotional turmoil, would you be the wonderful, compassionate and tireless advocate that you are today? They say that what doesn't kill us makes us stronger. I believe that to be true. I only wish it worked for everybody...

Kathy Chadwell (354)
Thursday October 17, 2013, 11:47 pm
Here in Lafayette Indiana the schools do have policies. What happens here is the police do not feel like it is their responsibility to have to deal with kids that bully when the parents refuse to back up the schools. So after warning the kids and the parents,,, if they continue bullying. The police arrest the bully AND the parents. Strangely they are getting much more cooperation from the bully's parents these days. Others should follow this example.

Kathy Chadwell (354)
Friday October 18, 2013, 12:02 am
I remind everybody of the old saying,,,, kids are cruel. If you do not teach them very young about compassion, empathy and mercy,,, history will continue to repeat itself,,, only now they are getting the kids to kill themselves. This has NEVER left my mind.

The murder of Shanda Renee Sharer (June 6, 1979 – January 11, 1992) involved a 12-year-old girl who was tortured and burned to death in Madison, Indiana by four teenage girls. The incident attracted nationwide attention.

Bob hardly here P (394)
Friday October 18, 2013, 4:58 am
Thanks Portland

Angelika R (143)
Friday October 18, 2013, 6:54 am
Susanne said it all so very well, I just second her words. Thx Portland.

Past Member (0)
Friday October 18, 2013, 10:38 am
yes bullying is a problem everywhere now and online social networking sites have only made it worse they are trying to do something about it here Maybe they should teach about it more in schools and people convicted of bullying should be placed under therapists straight away
Thanks Portland

Carol D (346)
Friday October 18, 2013, 3:11 pm
I too believe the bullying has gotten way out of hand in this country. One thing I feel should be hit head on is the schools start coming up with a policy that anyone who bullies will be called out along with the parents. Too many parents don't want to admit their child does anything wrong..I saw that many times when my kids were growing up so I know it is worse now!

Somehow I think they take it as an insult to their parenting which in a way it is because if children are brought up with compassion and understanding and learning what the word respect means that will follow them. Most kids with a strong background like that when confronted with a bully or see another being bullied will use that compassion and understanding to support the one being bullied or at least try and stop the bully!

It has gotten to the point I think where society has an "it's not my fault!" attitude thus shoving off the blame to someone or something else and refusing to accept responsibility! Those who bully apparently had nothing to base any form of compassion or respect on how to treat others possibly because they had parents who were not involved or maybe gave them no self esteem to work with which is truly a sad state!!

Then there are those like Portland explained where a child that does not bully and has not received the proper love and recognition from a parent at home and only craves that kind of attention to have someone bullying them is a double whammy for them that they just can't handle and worse do not know how to handle! Which is the main reason why the bullying has got to be stopped!

When the love and nurturing is lacking from a parent is it any doubt the child possibly grows up with an attitude of feeling less than!? No wonder so many teens can't deal with the anger and hatred of some others because of their lack of compassion and respect for another. For sure this is an issue that needs to be dealt with abruptly!

Thanks Portland for your insight into this travesty and for sharing with us some of the pain you went through as a some degree I can understand exactly what you went through also! God Bless You!

Sheryl G (363)
Friday October 18, 2013, 5:52 pm
It seems as if every month now I run across a teenager who has committed suicide due to bullying via the social internet web. I honestly feel that parents need to monitor their children's time on the computer. If they are under the age of 18 then I'd have a block on it so they couldn't access it unless they were doing it for homework.

I know these smart phones have the internet, but again, they wouldn't have the internet on the phone. All they need is a phone to make calls, emergencies and a house phone. I use to monitor the television programs my children watched, and there was one TV, in a place I could monitor it. I'd have the same with the computer in a central location so I could pay attention if it was homework or something else going on.

I know parents are busy, working outside the home, things to do inside the home, errands to do, wash to do, I understand this, I raised two children and worked outside the home. But you just HAVE to place your children as a PRIORITY. You have to BE WITH them, talk with them, do things with them, ask them about their day, what do they have for homework assignments, check it over afterwards. Find out who your children are and who they associate with. It take time......but it's far better than your child ending up dead.

I'm sorry for your hard start in life Portland and you are so correct we do not know what children are going through in their homes and then to have the added stress from heartless actions of others. Even at 12 and 14 those children know when they are being mean to another, but choose to do so anyways. If they truly do not understand then they need to learn empathy and compassion. Others who know need to be held accountable for their actions and also understand that this can not continue for them.

I blame also these programs on TV for the teenagers, has anyone looked at the crap out there. It shows too many being hateful towards each other, back stabbing, and just plain mean spirited. Even the young adults have programs like the Mean Girls......terrible. Although one can't prevent the older ones from viewing what it is they want, however, when my children lived with me and they were under 18 I had rules and those were the rules, no crap programs were going to be watched on the TV. They might of seen it at a friends home but it wasn't airing in my home.

Helen Porter (39)
Friday October 18, 2013, 11:30 pm
I volunteered for many years with Suicide Prevention taking calls over the telephone. In those days we received very little training. The one basic that I think shocked, scared and stayed with all of us was.....
"Always take a suicide threat seriously". Almost every person who commits suicide has told someone first. But there is the DEAD ly LIE, If they were really going to do it they wouldn't talk about it. They'd just do it. NOT SO.

We were told of a volunteer (in those days it was volunteer) who kept receiving calls from one guy who was always threatening but would live to call and threaten again. Our volunteer got home from a long trip and he was tired. The phone rang. It was the "suicidal" guy again. The volunteer was exasperated and said, "You're not going to really kill youself." BANG!!!!

We all got the message.

If someone tells you they're contemplating suicide, the best thing you can do is to get them to a professional, even if it's on the phone to Suicide Prevention. A doctor or hospital if you can. Sometimes you can't.

The next best thing you can do, and I learned this early, LISTEN just listen. Do not correct, explain, educate , solve the problem but just listen. If someone is able to talk it out, he'll probably live. If he is backed up against a wall while someone suggests or lectures, he is likely to stand firm. Argument nearly forces the person to argue back and that could lead to the gun or the noose!

When I became professional with WarmLine connected to Crisis Line, we could get fired for giving advice.
As a volunteer, I had already learned advice is a NO NO.

Just listen.

You can save lives that way.

MmAway M (505)
Saturday October 19, 2013, 6:16 am
Everything I was thinking was said above. RIP, this is happening way to much...personally, I think it happened before, just not in the forefront like it is now...then it was more hidden. TU Portland. Noted with sorrow.

Kathy Chadwell (354)
Monday October 21, 2013, 10:59 pm
A new video has surfaced,,, everybody has got to see this.

P. L. Neola (21)
Tuesday October 22, 2013, 2:04 am
Thank you, Kathy!

I can know see why and how the daughter bullied Rebecca into committing suicide. For this family, it is a repeated cycle.

I honestly do not understand why anyone would want so much of one’s life displayed online. With all the legal proceedings going on, I do not understand why the parents did not clamp down on their children’s internet usage. This family is actually revealing a high probability of culpability without the results of the local law enforcement’s investigation!!!

Past Member (0)
Sunday October 27, 2013, 11:22 am
Thanks for sharing your personal story and this story of all these young girls, Portland. Pretty much everything I have to say has been stated above in the other comments. I wish you well, Portland. You're a bright beckon shining an example for many. Stay strong. :)

Past Member (0)
Sunday October 27, 2013, 12:01 pm
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