Rebecca Sedwick's mom to file civil lawsuits over teen's death - WFLA News Channel 8

Rebecca Sedwick's mom to file civil lawsuits over teen's death

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Tricia Norman Tricia Norman
TAMPA, FL (WFLA) - Attorneys for the mother of Rebecca Sedwick say bullying has become an epidemic across the country.

Related story: Polk Sheriff Judd announces arrests in bullying case

Sedwick, 12, committed suicide in September by jumping off of a tower at an abandoned cement plant. Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd says online bullying contributed to her death.

Speaking at a news conference in Orlando on Monday, attorney Matt Morgan says bullying is going on in schools and even in the locker rooms of popular sports.

Related story: Sources: Miami Dolphins player sent racist texts

Morgan says his law firm intends to work on getting state and federal legislation that would make bullying a crime. Morgan also says parents must be held accountable, and risk losing their personal wealth, if they don't prevent bullying.

"Our message to parents is simple and it's clear: monitor your child's behavior," said Morgan.  "If you believe they are bullying another, you must take the steps necessary to ensure it doesn't happen again in the future.  It has to stop immediately, because if it doesn't you may find yourself on the wrong side of a lawsuit with your personal assets in jeopardy."

Speaking at the news conference, Rebecca's mother, Tricia Norman said, "I am going to make sure that other children are not tormented like my daughter was."


Norman says she intends to file a civil lawsuit in connection with her daughter's death.

"I feel like I'm living a nightmare and I can't wake up. I keep waiting for it to be over, but it never ends. My heart aches constantly, my body is numb, I can't sleep. My happiness no longer exists. My baby is gone," said Norman.

Norman would not say who she plans to sue, but she says she does plan to hold people responsible.

Related story: Lakeland bully victim's mom talks to Gayle Sierens

"I keep waiting for an apology I now know will never come. This lack of personal responsibility is beyond upsetting," said Norman.

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