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.
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.
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.
MORE ON CRIMESIDER