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.

01
    11/07/13
    It is a sad state of affairs that we are even at the point that children are behaving in such a way that this can even happen. I'm not sure about you but my experience is that kids who bully often have bully parents as well.
    2
      11/07/13
      8Theresa Gould
      :( So sad. I don't know, but it seems like law enforcement and law makers are being forced to come up with some kind of punishment for cyberbullying/bullying.
      2
        11/07/13
        Oh gosh.. I feel like this is touchy and awful.. all at once. My Dad is a retired Common Pleas Judge... he dealt with murder cases.. everything, the whole nine yards. His first case involving cyber like stuff was about sexting.. and it was so awkward, odd and new.. but he had to set an example and make consequences, I think and hope that this Judge will do the same. Children, for some reason, don't see right and wrong anymore.. this online world is WAY too easy for kids to be nasty and not have consequences.. I am not sure if a felony is completely appropriate.. but major discipline is... makes me literally shake my head.
        2
        About Celeste Whitehead
        Current: Spring Hill, Florida
        Birth: August 26
        On Moms.com since: Aug 5, 2013
        Stay at home and work at home mom of two loud, crazy, adorable kids that are the center of my entire world. We all live together with the love of my life and the father of my children in sunny Florida with 3 of out four-legged kids.