Some parents not pleased with bullying suicide arrests | News
Lakeland, Florida -- As school district workers used paint to touch up the school's sign out front, reaction echoed inside Crystal Lake Middle School on Wednesday.
Parents sent their kids into class for the first time since 14-year-old Guadalupe Shaw and 12-year-old Katelyn Roman were arrested on aggravated stalking charges.
The two girls were classmates of 12-year-old Rebecca Sedwick at the school in Lakeland, deputies say, when Shaw and Roman began to bully Sedwick in a dispute over a boy, John Borgen.
The intense bullying continued online after Sedwick left the school and the harassment eventually drove Sedwick to commit suicide, a Polk County Sheriff's Office investigation concluded.
Ricky Sealey dropped off his nephew at the school as the sun came up Wednesday. He said the arrests only made an already awful situation worse.
"Obviously, they did wrong. But I don't think they should be arrested for it," Sealey said. "They're children. They only learn from what their parents make them -- make them do. Why should they be arrested for something that -- obviously, they learned it from somewhere?"
But Elana Coulter -- a victim of bullying herself as a child -- said she felt the arrests sent the right no-nonsense message to any potential bullies in her grandson's middle school class.
"If you're doing this to kids -- online, in person, over the phone, whatever -- it is going to cause you trouble," Coulter said.
"You could get arrested. You could get kicked out of school. It's it going to stick with you for the rest of your life."
Opinions varied, but every parent we talked with did agree that bullying is not a problem that can be ignored any longer.
You can read more about your school district's bullying policy by clicking the links below:
Arrests made- 2 girls arrested after bullying victim's suicide
Sedwick's former boyfriend: Speak up if you see bullying
PHOTOS: Rebecca Sedwick's story