Transcript for Will Parents Be Charged for Girl Bullied Into Suicide?
Going to turn to new details on the arrest of the two girls charged with using facebook to taunt and bully their 12-year-old schoolmate until she killed herself. Police are looking into charging their parents, too. And matt gutman has the latest on the case. Good morning, matt. Reporter: Good morning, george. Those girls just 14 and 12 years old. Now, that 14-year-old is waking up in this mosquito-infested jail this morning. She'll be here for nine days until she's arraigned, locked up by a sheriff who says he's investigating her parents. This morning, a community is reeling from the failure to prevent the suicide and what police say was a bullied 12-year-old girl, rebecca sedwick. Two girls, 14 and 12 years old, arrested, charged with felony aggravated stalking. But sedwick's parents feel the girls aren't solely responsible. I would rather see the parents and administrators of that school behind bars. Reporter: And the sheriff in charge of the investigation, says he's investigating the 14-year-old's parents. Is it possible you could charge the parents? If I could, they would already be in jail. I can tell you this, we're keeping our options open. Reporter: Polk county sheriff, grady judd, has accused one of the girls about gloating after her suicide. Her parents insist her facebook was hacked. They monitor her facebook every night. Yeah, that's baloney. Those parents haven't cared from the very beginning. After the initial event. After the initial interviews, why did they let her stay on facebook? Reporter: According to the police, sedwick was bullied online for ten months. And her mother said she was physically attacked five times before she pulled her daughter from the school. I made several reports from the school. I dud one online bullying report because nothing was done by the school. And nothing was done with that, either. Reporter: School officials wouldn't comment on the allegation. But they told abc news, progress on bullying is being made. We've seen an increase in the reporting of bullying. Parents seem to be paying attention now. Reporter: When we went to sedwick's school to talk to parents and school, they say bullying still goes unreporting. We don't need no more lives taken. One time is enough. Zero tolerance is zero tolerance. Reporter: Now, the sheriff told me that even if the girls are convicted, they're not likely to face much, if any jail time. He says the only way to stop this national epidemic of bullying is not through policework, but through parenting. Let's talk more about this with dan abrams. Pick up where matt left off. Even if the girls are convicted, it's not going to be a long sentence. That's right. That's why I'm surprised that the 14-year-old, the older one, is still behind bars right now. In the juvenile system they have 21 days to decide where to go with the case. But in a case where you're talking about the likelihood of no prison time, possible, some prison time. But currently before she's even been tried, having to stay behind bars, very unusual. The charges in an of themselves are unusual. Why? It's unusual in a case like this where you see a felony being used against two kids. Now, you have to keep in mind, you need to separate out the suicide from the criminal acts. I know it's hard to do that. And people are going to say, wait a second. This is what led to the suicide. They're not being charged for the girl committing suicide. They're being charged for their actions before then that ended up leading to it. But the actions are what the charges are here. And it is unusual to charge 12-year-olds and 14-year-olds with felonies, in connection with something like this, putting aside what the ultimate result was. Even more unusual, the sheriff now saying he would like to find a way to charge the parents, as well. He's not going to be able to. The way you deal with parents in a case like this, is in civil suits. The families could certainly sue the parents of the girls in a case like this. You sue in civil court. That's where you have one family against another. I appreciate this sheriff is taking this really seriously. And I think it's sending an important message throughout the country. But he's got to be careful about extending this beyond where the law allows. And I think he's thinking about that carefully. You hear him saying, he would have had them behind bars if he had a charge. There has been a dramatic expansion in anti-bullying laws across the country. 1999, there was one state in the country that had an anti-bullying law. Now, every state except for one. Since 2008, we've seen more than half the states take action against bullying. No question, this is being treated very differently today than even 15 years ago. Dan abrams, thanks very much. We're all wearing purple today, as spirit against bullying.
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