TODAY   |  October 17, 2013

Florida sheriff: Parents of alleged bully should be charged

Florida sheriff Grady Judd says the parents of a 14-year-old-girl arrested for bullying another student, who ended up taking her own life, should be charged for failing to monitoring their daughter’s online activity. Some legal experts say that unless it can be proved that the parents encouraged the behavior, a crime cannot be established. NBC’s Mark Potter reports.

Share This:

This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> bullying case we told you on wednesday. the sheriff is trying to come up with a way to charge the parents of a 14-year-old girl accused of bullying a classmate who eventually took her own life. here's nbc 's michael potter .

>> reporter: this girl jumped this cement plant haunts the sheriff grady judded.

>> my heart was broken. i want to make sure is that we do everything we can to send a loud message that parents have to pay attention.

>> reporter: authorities say sedgwick was bullied by other girls, physically and online. two girls were arrested and charged with aggravated stalking of a minor after the oldest allegedly posted a message days ago on facebook show knowing remorse. judd said the girl's parents failed to monitor their girls' behavior.

>> at this point in the investigation, we don't have a criminal case against any parent. we wish that we did.

>> reporter: nbc legal analyst says it's a hard case to make.

>> unless there is proof the parents actively encouraged the bullying, there may be bad parenting, moral responsibility , but there won't be a crime.

>> reporter: the attorney for the 14-year-old denies she was a bully.

>> she is a care taker and very comforting and loving to other kids and kids in the neighborhood. she socializes with a lot of people.

>> reporter: the attorney denies the girl wrote the facebook entry. the parents say she was hacked and they monitored her.

>> you know the parents were doing the best job they could with what they knew.

>> sheriff judd says the other girl and her parents accepted responsibility but they would not speak with nbc news. the long-time hope is for this death to prevent other and raise awareness.