Two students have been charged with cyberstalking weeks after their classmate committed suicide.
Gabriella Green, 12, was found dead at her parents’ Florida home on January 10 after complaining to her mother of ‘girl drama’ and saying she had been getting ‘particularly heavy’ threatening messages.
Panama City Beach officials announced on Monday that two 12-year-old students at Surfside were charged with cyberstalking in connection to the girl’s death, reports Daily Mail.
Authorities did not release the identities of the children because they are minors.
Investigators said they interviewed the children with their parents’ permission, after learning of potential cyberbullying against Gabriella.
The students allegedly confessed to sending their classmate harassing messages ‘knowing that said conduct would result in emotional distress’.
Authorities said cell phones and social media accounts were examined as part of their investigation. Police issued a warning to parents to closely monitor what their kids are seeing and sharing online.
‘These specific cell phone applications have been found to be the root of several dangerous and negative situations, such as cyberbullying, sexting and potential access by online predators,’ police said in a news release.
According to police, their investigation did not reveal cyberbullying was the sole cause of Gabriella’s death just that it occurred at the time of the death.
The medical examiner is still working to determine the girl’s cause of death.
Gabriella’s mom, Tanya Green, told the Panama City New Herald that the arrests ‘were gratifying’ but she blames the school for not stepping in when she reported that her daughter was being targeted.
‘It’s going to help others at her school,’ she told the newspaper. ‘It’s going to start at her school. It’s going to help others around the world.’
Sadly just recently in Australia a 14-year-old NT girl took her own life after suffering cyber bullying. Read more on what her family hope to achieve after her tragic death.
Since Dolly’s suicide a QLD Mother launched a petition to ban apps with the potential for cyberbullying – support her cause here.
Last year a terrified mother shared on Facebook how her young daughter had contemplated suicide after she had been bullied at Primary School – read her story here.
We seriously need to step up and stop bullying. Parents are all responsible to help teach children the tragic affect it has. #doitfordolly
*Readers in need of support and information about suicide prevention can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467.
Share your comments below.