GREENSBORO, N.C. - Two Florida girls have been arrested in connection with the death of a 12-year-old girl authorities say committed suicide after being bullied online.
READ: 2 Girls Arrested on Bullying Charges For Rebecca Sedwick
The girls are 12 and 14 and have been charged with felony aggravated stalking.
A spokesperson with the Polk County Sheriff's Office says the girls ganged up on Rebecca Ann Sedwick for months through text messages and online message boards. Authorities say the girls "terrorized" Rebecca.
September 9, Rebecca jumped from a tower at an abandoned concrete plant.
Florida has a bullying law named after a teenager who killed himself after being harassed by classmates. Amended July 1 to cover cyber-bullying, the law leaves punishment to schools, though law enforcement also can seek more traditional charges.
North Carolina lawmakers passed a law in 2009 that makes cyber-bullying a criminal offense, punishable as a misdemeanor.
The law reads in part, "it shall be unlawful for any person to use a computer or computer network to do any of the following: With the intent to intimidate or torment a minor: a. Build a fake profile or Web site; b. Pose as a minor in: An Internet chat room; An electronic mail message; or An instant message; Follow a minor online or into an Internet chat room; or Post or encourage others to post on the Internet private, personal, or sexual information pertaining to a minor."
To read the entire law, click here.
WFMY News 2's Morgan Hightower
spoke to a Triad mother who says her two children are being harassed online.
We have chosen not to show you this mother's face or tell you her name to protect her children from the possibility of more bullying.
"People take things differently no matter how you say it. You could be joking but the person don't take as a joke, they take it offensive," explained the mother.
This mother says her children have been ridiculed and sexually harassed on sites like Facebook.
She says once they think they found the bully, another account pops up and continues the teasing trend. Her kids are not the only targets of this suspected bully. She says several students in her kids' Triad school have been cyber-bullied.
"Those are my children, they are not going to be harassed. And I want this stopped now before something bad happens," she said.
This parent did what you are supposed to do -- if you suspect bullying -- go to the school.
School districts are required by North Carolina law to have policies to prevent, intervene, investigate and report bullying.
Once a complaint is received, the school district will launch an investigation and determine if disciplinary action is necessary.
Students in North Carolina have one extra protection -- cyber-bullying is illegal. It's a criminal offense classified as a misdemeanor.
The law defines the crime when intent to intimidate or torment a minor is present, whether it's through a chat room, instant message, or email.
To learn more about cyber-bullying, click here.
If your child is a student in Guilford County Schools and you believe he/she is being bullied, click here.
If your child is a student in Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools and you believe he/she is being bullied, click here.
If your child is a student in Davidson County Schools and you believe he/she is being bullied, click here.
If your child is a student in Alamance County Schools and you believe he/she is being bullied, click here.
WFMY News 2, CBS News