Felony convictions for kids who bully? Thoughts?
What do you think? Is a felony charge going to far?
St. Petersburg police arrested a 15-year-old girl on Thursday for cyberbullying after she allegedly sent hundreds of threatening text messages to three other 15-year-old girls who are students at her high school.
Officials said the girl was charged with three counts of aggravated stalking. The Associated Press is not naming her because she is a minor.
Detectives said the girl sent several hundred threatening texts to three victims over the course of about 8 days. Many of the messages were death threats, police said, and many contained expletives.
"Nobody likes you ... I hate you so much," some of the texts said, according to a police news release by spokesman Bill Proffitt.
Police said the girl knew that a relative of one of the victims had recently committed suicide, and encouraged that victim to commit suicide.
The girls were once friends, police added.
Authorities also said the teen was interviewed by detectives on Nov. 4, and then sent more texts to the victims afterward. Because of that, she was also charged with one count of tampering with a witness.
The girl was booked into the Juvenile Assessment Center Thursday afternoon. It's unclear whether she has retained an attorney.
The arrest comes on the heels of another alleged cyberbullying case in Florida.
In Polk County, about an hour and a half from St. Petersburg, two girls, ages 12 and 14, were arrested after they allegedly bulled another middle school student named Rebecca Sedwick. Rebecca, who was 12, committed suicide on Sept. 9 and left behind notes that said she felt tormented and harassed.
The two girls in that case were also charged with felony stalking.