Rebecca Sedwick: Parents of teen arrested in connection with bullying case, death speak out
John Thomas/abc Action News
10:52 PM, Oct 16, 2013
5:55 AM, Oct 17, 2013
POLK COUNTY, Fla. - The parents of one of the girls arrested and charged with aggravated stalking in a Polk County bullying case are speaking out.
They sat down with ABC News Reporter Matt Gutman and told him they are going through a nightmare.
They defended their daughter saying she is a good kid.
"She's the type of girl that if you need her, she will be there for you," her father said.
He went on to say that he didn't believe that she would bully anyone and that she herself was bullied at school.
A message posted on Facebook, prompted the arrest of their daughter on Monday. The message implied that their daughter didn't care that Rebecca Ann Sedwick, 12, was dead. Both parents believe her account was hacked and that someone else made the post.
"She wouldn't write anything like that."
Are these parents in denial? Or, just refusing to believe that their child may be a bad kid?
I asked Licensed Mental Health Councilor, Kathy Long, if they were good or bad parent.
After watching the interview, Long said she should could tell the parents are loving, and are doing what most parents would do, rallying around their child to protect them.
Long said what we might be seeing is the result of societal change.
"Everyone gets a trophy for showing up," Long explained. "So they don't know how to judge. So, I'm wonderful no matter what I do."
She said it's up to parents to help guide their children, because at that age, their minds are not intellectually developed. Parents must listen and not dismiss their children. They must also monitor their children's social networking and relationships with friends.
"Actions have consequences," Long said.
"We need to be teaching them that everybody should be treated with respect."