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Josie Lou Ratley, Michael Brewer Attacks Spur Broward County Anti-Bullying Campaign

Josie Lou Ratley

Josie Lou Ratley (Rick Freedman/Family Attorney)

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (CBS) On the same day that Josie Lou Ratley's mother announced that Josie showed a marked improvement by breathing on her own, her school district announced a renewed effort to stop bullying.

PICTURES: Josie Lou Ratley, Steel-Toed Attack VictimPICTURES: Michael Brewer's Remarkable Recovery (WARNING: Some Graphic Content)

Kayla Manson, left, and Wayne Treacy. (WFOR)

Broward County School District Superintendent Jim Notter announced Wednesday that the district has a new theme for students and parents to remember: "You have the power to make a difference - use it!" The saying is part of Broward Schools' "silence hurts" campaign that was started several years ago.

PICTURES: Josie Lou Ratley, Steel-Toed Attack VictimPICTURES: Michael Brewer's Remarkable Recovery (WARNING: Some Graphic Content)

Notter urged parents and students to report anything suspicious on a tip line, e-mail or text message, emphasizing that any report can be completely anonymous. The numbers and email address will be put up on posters that will be posted in all schools, facilities and sites.

Notter admitted signs were missed in the case of Michael Brewer who was set on fire, allegedly by three classmates, in Deerfield Beach and in the brutal beating of Josie on school grounds.

15-year-old Wayne Treacy has been charged with first degree murder for allegedly savagely beating Josie at a bus stop March 17 after she reportedly sent him an insensitive text message about his brother who had recently committed suicide. Kayla Manson, who was a friend of Ratley, is accused of pointing out Ratley to Treacy knowing that he intended to hurt her.

Josie's mother, Hilda Gotay Ratley, told reporters Wednesday that her daughter is opening her eyes slightly and has squeezed her doctor's hand, however Gotay said that her daughter's doctors are unable to tell what kind of long-term damage her daughter may be facing.

Josie remains in a medically induced coma.

Treacy and Manson are being held at a juvenile detention center pending an April 19 hearing to determine if Treacy will be charged as an adult.

MEDIA
PICTURES: Josie Lou Ratley, Steel-Toed Attack VictimPICTURES: Michael Brewer's Remarkable Recovery (WARNING: Some Graphic Content)
MORE ON CRIMESIDER

April 6, 2010 - Josie Lou Ratley, Student Attacked at Bus Stop, Gets Trust for Long-Term Care
April 5, 2010 - Josie Lou Ratley Update: Steel-Toe Stomping Victim Shows Signs of Improvement
March 26, 2010 - Michael Brewer Visits Josie Lou Ratley in Hospital, Gives Family Hope for Teen's Recovery
March 24, 2010 - Why Didn't Anyone Warn Police Josie Lou Ratley Was Going to Be Severely Beaten?
March 23, 2010 - Hero Teacher Walter Welsh: "Sorry I Didn't Get There Faster"...but He Rescued Josie Lou Ratley from Steel-Toed Beating
March 22, 2010 - Student Victim of Savage Steel-Toed Stomping In Coma, But Her Doctors are Optimistic
March 19, 2010 - Text Messages Led To Brutal Beating of Teenage Girl, Say Cops

  • Carlin Miller

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