A 12-year-old Florida girl’s suicide, reportedly brought on in part by bullying, has led to cyberstalking charges for two 12-year-olds who Panama City Beach Police say allegedly encouraged her death verbally and digitally.
Gabriella “Gabbie” Peyton Green committed suicide on January 10th, according to a Facebook post from mother Tanya Green.
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Green eulogized her daughter, lamenting that “She left this world being bullied at school for this last year.” After raising the issue with Gabbie’s school, she says, “they did nothing.”
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“Beauties get bullied too… Even if [you’re] a confident girl[,] [y]ou can be bullied,” added Green, who wrote that the family was home at the time Gabbie took her life.
One of the children charged with cyberstalking, a girl, told police she wanted to drive a wedge between Gabbie and another child, according to CNN.
To do this, police say she started rumors that Gabbie had sexually transmitted infections (STIs), mocked her and called her names and threatened to “expose” elements of Gabbie’s life. After learning of Gabbie’s suicide, that girl deleted messages between the two of them.
The second cyberstalking suspect, a 12-year-old boy, received a text message from Gabbie that said she’d been having a bad day and tried to hang herself already. The two allegedly moved to a video chat, where the boy told Gabbie “If you’re going to do it, just do it” in response to Gabbie deliberating suicide. That boy says he regrets that comment and attempted to message her, but got no response.
Both children told investigators that they knew their behavior would cause “emotional distress” for Gabbie.
Gabbie committed suicide by hanging; one of Green’s cousins told police that she hung herself using a dog leash, according to the Washington Post.
Police discovered anonymous social media accounts and “several” students with unmonitored and unrestricted access to social media apps. While the cyberbullying detailed here is not directly blamed for Green’s suicide, Panama City Beach Police will be holding a training for parents on restricting and controlling their child’s access to social media platforms.