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Mom of bullied girl who committed suicide sues school board

Rebecca Sedwick CBS

BARTOW, Fla. - The mother of a 13-year-old Florida girl who authorities say jumped to her death because she was bullied is suing the Polk County School Board, alleging the school board didn't do enough to protect her daughter.

The suit, filed Monday in Polk County, also names a construction materials company and a teenager accused of stalking her daughter.

Rebecca Sedwick was 12 when she leaped to her death at an abandoned concrete plant in September 2013. A month later, the sheriff's office arrested two of her classmates,12 and 14, on charges of aggravated stalking. The charges were later dropped because of insufficient evidence.

A Florida sheriff told CBS News last year that the arrests came after one of the suspects posted an incriminating message on Facebook.

"You see a pattern of harassment, a pattern of intimidation and that's what they did. They intimidated this girl. They harassed her. She had no peace," Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd told CBS News in October 2013.

Sedwick's mother, Tricia Norman, is seeking more than $15,000. She alleges, among other things, that the School Board didn't properly supervise the girl accused of stalking her daughter, and she accuses the construction company of negligent maintenance.

The lawsuit alleges the accused teen "engaged in an open, notorious, and protracted pattern of bullying against Rebecca Sewick" and that the school board "had a duty to provide an educational setting that was safe, secure, and free from harassment, intimidation, abuse, unwanted touching and bullying."

The lawsuit seeks money for funeral expenses, as well as damages for pain and suffering, reports CBS affiliate WTSP.

The station has reportedly reached out to the Polk County School Board for comment.

Watch: 48 Hours: Words Can Kill

  • Crimesider Staff

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