Polk cyberbullying victim to be laid to rest - WFLA News Channel 8

Polk cyberbullying victim to be laid to rest

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LAKELAND, FL (WFLA) -

Friends and family members washed cars and sold T-shirts Sunday at a 7-Eleven in Lakeland to help pay for the funeral costs of 12 year-old Rebecca Ann Sedwick. Her funeral will be held in Bartow Monday morning.

Investigators say Sedwick took her own life after she was bullied online during the last year by as many as 15 other girls. They say it started over a boy.

Jaylen Arnold suffers from Tourettes Syndrome and autism, and has also been the victim of bullying. He showed up at the car wash to hand out information about his anti-bullying web site: www.JaylensChallenge.org.

"Jaylen's Challenge is an anti bullying campaign that my mom and I made and it's a web site. It tells about my Tourettes, which is something in my brain which makes me do these weird noises and makes me twitch and jerk and makes me do a bunch of weird stuff and I was bullied for that badly," said Jaylen.

Amy Galassi is a parent of a seven year-old girl and also wanted to convey an anti-bullying message.

"We're here to get the message out to everybody, parents, children to be more aware," said Galassi. "To just stop it from happening."

Funeral services for Rebecca will be held at the Whidden-Mclean Funeral Home at 650 E. Main Street in Bartow.

A viewing will be held from 9 to 11 a.m. followed directly by a graveside service at the Oak Hill Cemetery at 4620 U.S. 98 S. in Lakeland.

The Polk County Sheriff's office is examining social media sites and cell phones records of some of the teens involved in the cyberbullying to see if criminal charges are warranted.

 

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