Parents deny daughter's involvement in bullying - FOX 13 News

Parents of girl charged in bullying suicide: Facebook page was hacked

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Rebecca Sedwick (file image) Rebecca Sedwick (file image)
Polk sheriff Grady Judd: 14-year-old suspect had bullied other students since she was in elementary school. Polk sheriff Grady Judd: 14-year-old suspect had bullied other students since she was in elementary school.
Rebecca's mother Tricia Norman says Polk schools and law enforcement did not do enought to prevent her daughter's suicide. Rebecca's mother Tricia Norman says Polk schools and law enforcement did not do enought to prevent her daughter's suicide.
WINTER HAVEN (FOX 13) -

The arrests of two Polk County girls in connection with another girl's suicide are drawing international attention, and now the parents of the girls who were charged are speaking out.

Rebecca Sedwick, 12, took her life on September 9 after investigators and her family said she was relentlessly bullied.

Monday night, deputies arrested two girls, ages 12 and 14, and charged them with felony stalking in connection with Sedwick's death. FOX 13 is not naming them because they are juveniles.

They were arrested after the sheriff says the 14-year-old posted something on Facebook he could not ignore. The post said, "Yes, I bullied Rebecca and she killed herself but I don't give a ..." The sentence ended with an expletive.

In an interview with ABC News that aired Wednesday, a couple identified as the 14-year-old's parents said their daughter would never post something like that. They said they believed her Facebook page had been hacked.

"She wouldn't write anything like that," the girl's mother told ABC News.

The teen's mother also said she closely monitored her daughter's Facebook activity, checking it every time she got on it.

RELATED: Should schools do more to monitor students' social media?

The father of the 12-year-old also spoke to ABC News, and said he did not believe his daughter played a part in bullying Sedwick.

"I feel horrible about the situation," the 12-year-old's father said.

Of the claim that the 14-year-old's page was hacked, Judd said Tuesday: "Of course, we don't believe that."

"We already have investigative information that she had bullied kids since elementary school, and it wasn't uncommon for her to bully other people. She was just a mean, nasty little girl," Judd continued.

Both girls were charged as juveniles with third-degree felony aggravated stalking. If convicted, it's not clear how much time, if any, the girls would spend in juvenile detention because they did not have any previous criminal history, the sheriff said.

Tuesday night, the Polk County Sheriff's Office said the 12-year-old had been released to her parents' custody, and the 14-year-old had been placed back in juvenile detention.

Judd indicated Wednesday evening that there would be no other arrests in the case.

"It appears the only two ‘bulliers' in this investigation are the two we've identified," Judd said.

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