Horrifying bullying story should serve as an alert

Among the most heart-wrenching, deeply troubling stories in the news recently was that of a 12-year-old Florida girl who committed suicide after being bullied for nearly a year.

Investigators are looking into whether charges can be filed against some of the 15 or so girls who ganged up on Rebecca Ann Sedwick, probably goading her into killing herself.

Her diary and computer are full of evidence of mind-numbing cruelty by the other girls. Some urged her to commit suicide.

In December, Sedwick was hospitalized for three days after cutting her wrists. At the time, she said she did so because of bullying.

So pervasive was the harassment at her middle school that finally, her mother withdrew her and began home-schooling the girl.

The enormous amount of bullying Sedwick suffered – and the sometimes public manner in which it was delivered – poses a question: How was it that no one did anything effective to stop the harassment?

Most school systems have anti-bullying programs and policies. Or should.

But the little girl is dead, a victim of vicious bullies who had to have known the danger in what they were doing.

Again, how could it have happened? We believe educators in our area are serious about anti-bullying programs. We hope these measures are enough. We don’t want a wake-up call that we weren’t doing enough.