Bills Filed To Make Bullying Illegal In Florida

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — The mother of a Florida girl who committed suicide after she was allegedly bullied is backing a bill that would make bullying illegal in the state.

During a news conference Friday, Tricia Norman, along with her attorney and Rep. Heather Fitzenhagen, R-Fort Myers, said that HB 451 and an accompanying bill in the Florida Senate have been filed. The bill would make it a first-degree misdemeanor to willfully, maliciously or repeatedly harass or cyberbully another person, and a third-degree felony if there’s a “credible threat” involved in the harassment.

Norman’s daughter, 12-year-old Rebecca Sedwick, committed suicide in September. A month later, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office arrested two of her classmates, ages 12 and 14, on charges of aggravated stalking. Those charges were dropped because of insufficient evidence.

(© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments

More From CBS Tampa

POLL: How Are YOU Celebrating the 4th of July?What does Tampa Bay like to do for the 4th of July? Our poll has the answer!
Fatal Alligators Attacks in Florida Over Past 20 YearsThe body of a 2-year-old Nebraska boy was found Wednesday after he was snatched by an alligator at a...

Listen Live