Two girls arrested in cyber-bullying death

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Posted: Tuesday, October 15, 2013 5:50 pm | Updated: 9:16 pm, Tue Dec 31, 2013.

POLK COUNTY--Too young to even drive a car, yet twelve-year-old Katelyn Roman and fourteen-year-old Guadaloupe Shaw are both facing felony aggravated stalking charges.

"They are the two stalkers, they are the two bulliers," said Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd.

Authorities believe it was their relentless cyber-bullying, that led twelve-year-old Rebecca Sedwick to leap to her death off the top of a tower last Septmeber.

"Bullying in and of itself, is not a crime," said Judd, "but bullying makes up the predicate acts for stalking or aggravated stalking."

Experts say this case should be a warning to teenagers everywhere, that what happens in cyberspace can have real world fallout.

"Our youth is so comfortable with technology they've grown up with it and often times they don't think about the consequences that go along with it," said Doug Staley of Sarasota's Child Protection Center.

Consequences that can be avoided when parents step up to the plate.

"Responsible parents check and balance, follow up with kids and when they see this kind of conduct, they take disciplinary action," said Judd.

Something the parents of Shaw and Roman apparently failed to do. And now it's the Polk County Sheriff's Office that's taking the disciplinary action.

"Every household with children should use this article or this news story as a catalyst for discussion, talking about cyber-bullying, bullying in general," said Staley.

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