Daily Dispatches
Pallbearers wearing anti-bullying t-shirts carry the casket of Rebecca Sedwick,12, to a waiting hearse.
Associated Press/Photo by Brian Blanco
Pallbearers wearing anti-bullying t-shirts carry the casket of Rebecca Sedwick,12, to a waiting hearse.

Midday Roundup: Tweens charged in bullying suicide

Newsworthy

Bullied to death. Florida police officials are defending their decision to charge two middle-school girls with third-degree felony aggravated stalking after one of their classmates committed suicide. Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd now says he’s considering charging the girls’ parents as well. “I’m aggravated that the parents aren’t doing what parents should do,” he said. “Responsible parents take disciplinary action.” Rebecca Sedwick, 12, climbed a tower at an abandoned concrete plant on Sept. 9 and jumped to her death. She had complained repeatedly of bullying. Although as many as 15 girls are suspected of harassing Sedwick, the 14-year-old and 12-year-old girls charged this week are thought to be the ringleaders. During a news conference, Judd read a comment the 14-year-old posted on Facebook. “‘Yes, I bullied Rebecca and she killed herself but I don’t give a …’ and you can add the last word yourself,” Judd said. The girl’s parents claim her Facebook account was hacked and someone else posted the comment, but Judd isn’t buying it.

Guilty plea. Former San Diego Mayor Bob Filner pleaded guilty Tuesday to felony charges stemming from accusations of a long history of sexual harassment. Filner, who was forced to resign in August, pleaded guilty to false imprisonment, a felony, and two misdemeanor counts of battery in cases involving three unidentified women. As part of the plea deal, Filner admitted to physically restraining one woman at a fundraising event, kissing another against her will at a “meet the mayor” event, and grabbing the backside of the third at a rally. He will serve three months home confinement and three years of probation. He also faces at least one civil suit over his behavior. When accusations of misconduct surfaced earlier this year, Filner at first refused to resign, promising to seek therapy while insisting he hadn’t sexually harassed anyone. But six weeks later, he agreed to step down.

Running shutdown? Thanks to the ongoing closure of several National Parks in Washington, D.C., this weekend’s Marine Corps marathon might be canceled. The Army 10-Miler, which is scheduled to take place on Saturday, has been rerouted to stay in Arlington, Va., and avoid federal property. But 60 percent of Sunday’s Marine Corps race takes place on National Park Service property, too much to reroute at this point. A spokesman for the Arlington County Police Department, which coordinates road closures for large events, said they would decide Friday evening whether the race could continue. This would be the marathon’s 37th year.

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Texas troublemaker. The Houston Chronicle, once a big fan of Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, now says it misses his predecessor, moderate Kay Bailey Hutchison. In an editorial published today, the newspaper chastised Cruz for contributing to the “chaotic, hyper-partisan atmosphere” in Washington, D.C. The editorial board admits it endorsed Cruz with reservations, evidently fearing he would go to Capitol Hill and stir things up. That really shouldn’t have been a surprise, since that’s what he promised to do throughout his campaign. Even so, the paper wanted him to play nice. “Obviously, he has not done so,” the editorial said. “Cruz has been part of the problem in specific situations where Hutchison would have been part of the solution.”

Leigh Jones
Leigh Jones

Leigh lives in Atlanta and is the managing editor of WORLD's website.

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