Lakeland bully victim's mom talks to Gayle Sierens - WFLA News Channel 8

Lakeland bully victim's mom talks to Gayle Sierens

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Gayle Sierens interviews Tricia Norman, whose daughter Rebbeca Sedwick committed suicide. Gayle Sierens interviews Tricia Norman, whose daughter Rebbeca Sedwick committed suicide.
Rebecca Sedwick was pretty, smart, depressed, and bullied.  At 12 years old, she decided to end it all with one jump and no note left behind.

Related story: Polk cyberbully victim laid to rest
 
Her mother, Tricia Norman says she and her daughter were very close, that they did everything together.  But she knew Becca was vulnerable, and was a victim of bullying. Her mother decided it was time to take her out of school, and home school her.  She made that decision when she says her daughter was physically attacked at school five times in a two week period. “The last time I said, ‘that’s enough,” Norman remembers. ”I can’t handle this anymore. Becca can’t handle this anymore.”

Already depressed and confused, Norman says another layer of pain for her already fragile child came when her biological father popped back into her life after a four year absence.

 “There’s nothing like knowing you have a biological father out there that should be in your life, that’s not.”  According to Norman, her father reconnected with her through Facebook, and wanted to be part of her life again.  But the reunion didn’t last.   He dropped out, and

Sedwick paid the price.

Norman knew her daughter was in a dark place when she saw cuts on her wrist.  She needed to get her professional help.  Norman describes that time with her daughter as a “dull period” when she and Sedwick were having issues.  Sedwick was hospitalized for three days and started weekly counseling.  By January, Sedwick was back at school and the destructive cycle began again.  She told her mother the girls at school were calling her a liar and telling her she was ugly and that nobody liked her.  She says they told her she just needed to die.

The dark place was getting darker for Rebecca. Her mother became more concerned as Becca turned to social media. “I think that when she got back on Instagram in May, I think he started following a certain type of people.  Because they were all depressed, or suicidal, or cutters, and I think she just kind of got sucked into this dark world and I had no idea because she was home and she was happy and had plans for the future.”

But those plans were much darker than anyone could imagine. On the morning of Sept. 9, Rebecca left the house early, and didn’t show up for school.  Her family didn’t find that out until much later that evening.  She called authorities and the search began.  Pressed for any clue that might lead law enforcement to her daughter, Norman remembered that Rebecca and a friend had gone to the cement plant on their bikes a few weeks earlier to climb the silos.

That is where Sedwick’s body was found.

Since her death two teens have been arrested for their role in bullying Sedwick. 

Related story: Arrests announced in cyberbullying case

Asked what Norman might have done differently, she said she would have tried to keep her daughter away from social media. Norman is now on a crusade to make sure everyone understands the consequences of bullying, and how it changed her families’ life forever.

Bullying Information: Resources and experts 

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