Two Florida 12-year-olds were charged for cyberstalking in connection with the suicide of Surfside Middle School student Miss Gabriella Green.
The conclusion of the investigation by Panama City Beach police into the “mitigating circumstances that could be attributed to the incident” state that Miss Green, who took her own life on January 10th, appears to have been contacted by the two repeatedly via social media.
The two 12-year-old suspects, who cannot be named for legal reasons confessed to engaging in cyberbullying conduct, knowing very well that their behavior could cause severe emotional distress to Gabbie.
Gabbie’s parents confirmed to the press that a male and female youngster was charged. In Florida, cyberstalking can be punished with one year in jail and up to a $1,000 fine.
Ms. Tanya Green, Gabbie’s mother, claimed the investigation and ensuing arrests were “gratifying” as her daughter had suffered so much “with a smile on her face.”
“It’s going to help others at her school. It’s going to start at her school. It’s going to help others around the world.”
The Panama City Beach police meanwhile claimed that there are dangers associated with letting teenagers have “unmonitored access to several social media platforms.”
“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.”
Some parents who have children attending Surfside Middle School showed up on Monday holding signs against bullying. Ms. Amy Strout, who has helped organize a Facebook group seeking justice for Gabbie said: “Almost every parent here, their child has been bullied at this school.”
“This could have been my kid. This could have been their kid.”
Superintendent Bill Husfelt of the school did not want to comment on any internal investigations at the school: “We continue to mourn the loss of Gabbie, and our hearts go out to her family, her friends and to everyone at Surfside Middle School.”
“This is an absolutely tragic situation, and our counselors have been at Surfside since we first found out about Gabbie’s death. The counselors have been and will continue to be, an invaluable resource for the students, and faculty and staff, at this difficult time and they will be available as long as they are needed.”