Mom: Daughter, 12, took life because of bullying | News
Lakeland, Florida -- "Good night, mom. I love you."
Those are the last words Tricia Norman heard from her daughter, 12-year-old Rebecca Sedwick, Sunday night.
Tricia said Monday morning started like any other morning. As Tricia got ready for work, Becca left to catch her school bus around 6:45 a.m. Except, on that day, her daughter never returned home.
That night, Tricia reported her daughter missing around 7:00 p.m., and deputies later found her body at a closed cement plant near her home.
"I feel she took her own life. She did not feel she was worth anything," said Tricia.
Tricia blames bullying that she said started late last year at Crystal Lake Middle School by a group of five or six girls over boys.
"She would come home every day saying she's not worth anything, she was ugly and stupid," Tricia remembered of her daughter.
Last January, Tricia complained to school administrators and filed a report on the district's website.
"Crystal Lake Middle School specifically should have disciplined these girls that were bullying her and taken it more seriously. [They] blew it off. I told them Becca has been threatened, these girls are going to jump her. 'We'll talk to them' they said, and she still got jumped."
The bullying got so bad Tricia said Becca would cut herself. In February, Tricia pulled Becca out of school and homeschooled her. She closed her daughter's Facebook account to stop the cyber bullying, and this year Becca switched schools. They thought the bullying had stopped.
"The people who did this need to be punished. My sister did not deserve to die at a young age," said Summer Howard, 19, Becca's older sister.
After Becca's death, Summer found postings on Becca's phone on ask.fm. In postings from four days ago, someone anonymously wrote,"Nobody cares about you," "I hate u," "You seriously deserve to die."
Becca tried to brush it off by responding positively. But 28 days ago, there are similar entries. "Can u die please," "Go die," "Nobody likes u."
Tricia said they also find disturbing pictures of Becca. One picture showed her cutting herself in the upper thigh, high enough for her shorts to hide it. Tricia said other pictures showed a razor lying on the inside of her arm and another picture had Becca lying on railroad tracks.
Tricia wishes she had been more involved in her daughter's life. "I partly blame myself. I wasn't more attentive to what she was doing."
She has this message for parents: "Even if they think things are okay, they still need to be nosy. I rather her be mad at me because I was nosy than gone."
Tricia wishes she had one more chance to talk to her daughter. If she did, this is what she would say: "I would tell her how much I love her, how important she was to a lot of people, and how bright her future looked."
10 News made several attempts to reach Crystal Lake Middle School's principal and Polk School District officials about Tricia's bullying allegations, but the only response we received is this general statement:
"This is an ongoing investigation. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family."
Polk Sheriff offcials said they are waiting on the autopsy report to determine Becca's cause of death.
You can read more about your school district's bullying policy by clicking the links below:
How can bullying be prevented?:
SafeCircles- Tricia Norman launches an online social media site for students that protects registered users from bullying