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It’s impossible to comprehend another human being, let alone a child, sending such hateful messages to another person, but according to Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd in Lakeland, Florida, these messages are all too real.

They were sent to 12-year-old Rebecca Sedwick, who ultimately jumped to her death in September, he said.

The messages didn’t come via the social networking sites many of us are familiar with: Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. They were sent via newer, lesser-known social applications called and Kik, according to Judd.

“These apps are free, and as a result … you can either go up anonymously or create a fictitious identification, and you can torment other children, and it is frightening to see that occur,” the sheriff said.

Tricia Norman, Sedwick’s mother, thought she was doing everything she could to protect her daughter from the bullying she was experiencing. She sent her to a different school and closed down her Facebook page, according to The New York Times.

She had no idea her daughter was using apps such as and Kik.

In conversations with law enforcement, educators, bullying experts and parents, it’s clear that whole parents may be getting up to speed on some social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, there are plenty of other platforms popular with teens that parents don’t know about.


OKLAHOMA CITY- For bullying prevention month, ask your kids what kind of sites you should know about.

Have them tell you about what they are for and what they use them for.

Ask your kids what’s going on in their lives.

Prevent bullying.