Anne Arundel Co. Police Investigate Cyberbullying Case

GAMBRILLS, Md. (WJZ) — In Anne Arundel County, police are now involved in a case of cyberbullying.

As Mike Schuh reports, the incident came to the attention of adults after the teen victim wrote on an Internet site that she might kill herself.

It’s been a tough year for one senior at Arundel High. On the website Reddit, the girl writes she’s suicidal.

“Since the beginning of the school year, I have been harassed both in person and online by the school’s bully.”

The girl’s name is Sarah and what she says happened is shocking.

“It’s gotten to the point where the school will not take action unless I kill myself,” Sarah said.

She says the boy wrote, “Go kill yourself. No one would care if you died.”

In her posting, Sarah writes that months ago, she went to school officials about the bullying but nothing was done. She says the harassment continued: “Sarah has a boyfriend and I’m still single. Time to die, Sarah.”

She posted at 1 a.m. People around the world flooded the school and its principal with emails.

“So we spent much of the very early morning hours Wednesday trying to figure out who the student was,” said Bob Mosier, Board of Education.

That morning, they quizzed every Sarah as she walked in.

“When the student arrived at 7 o’clock, she was met by school administrators and her counselor,” Mosier said.

By law, he is limited as to what he can say, but her classmates are not.

“I think it’s a pretty serious problem,” said Kristin.

“I hear about it in almost every class,” said Kate.

One parent feels the ultimate responsibility is with the parents.

“You don’t ever talk that way. We expect our kids to love each other and be kind and to treat other people that way, as well,” said Rachel Campbell.

The principal declined an interview.

“Our principal came on the PA with one of her 15-minute lectures concerning this whole bullying thing and saying how bullying is not acceptable,” said Ali.

In a cyberbullying offense, county code at a minimum means a suspension up to reassignment at an alternate school.

Sarah later wrote that she was OK thanks to the online community and said the boy had been suspended.

Anne Arundel County Police say they have opened a case but no charges have been filed against the young man.

More from Mike Schuh
  • dave

    The teachers know who the bullys are. They have a responsibility to take the matter up with the parents & the perps. The school bus drivers are also aware of the punks. This is a horrible thing for any child to experience & the kids should be encouraged to speak up. These schools better wake up or law suits will come.

    • Richard

      What should we do to or with the bullies? They have just as many rights thanks to the lawsuit game as everyone else. If a student goes on Reddit an 1am and posts harassing comments what should the school do? How about this solution? Parents monitor their children’s technology and and limit it. Lock the lap tops, phones, game systems and everything else at night if the kid can’t stay off it. Limit their access and have them unplug for a little while. Support schools and their tech policies by not calling your kid at school or text them…and punish them if they get caught using their phones in school. Parents don’t want to be parents they want to be buddies and BFF’s and don’t punish their children when they misbehave. Then schools are left to pick up the pieces. Another difference today compared to past generations is that the social scene doesn’t stop at 2:05 when they get out of school, it’s 24 hrs. It’s easy to say things over a computer.
      A Tech Troubled Teacher

  • Earl

    They keep acting like bullying is something new- it’s not and it happens everywhere, has since all of us and our parents & grandparent were kids and you have to learn how to deal with it. Kids are so coddled nowadays they expect to have someone else handle their problems for them- (I am talking about verbal bullying here, not physical attacks, that is a different matter and is a crime.) Kids need to learn how to deal with someone saying something mean or thoughtless as that will happen all their lives, it happens everywhere, like it or not. I am not saying bullying is right for it isn’t, but it is a fact of life like rainy days, so kids need to learn how to deal with it and grow thicker skins Face it, it would be great if we all loved each other and all that happy teddy bears & rainbow stuff, but that is not how real life works. Someone faster will beat you in sports, someone smarter will get the scholarship, someone better looking will steal your boy/girl friend, people will lie about you, try to cheat you, call you names and shove you out of the way because they want that promotion or new client you want at work. That is how life works unless you live in La La Land, so kids need to learn to grow thick skins!

    • really

      I agree. this generation of kids care waaaayyyy to much of what others think of them. Growing up there were bullies but you were taught that they are bullies because of their own flaws and insecurities and if you stand up for your self than they will leave you alone. I am a testament of that I am very short and was bullied by a girl twice my size..when the heifer got on my nerves so bad one day i stood on the cafeteria table and told her now i’m your height lets go…she started laughing and wanted to be my friend from then on…

      • Tia Marie

        Sure that’s great in the cases where one has the emotional capability to take the verbal bullying and not do something drastic. I was bullied most of my schooling life and grew a thick skin.

        Yes, there are children with thin skins who are healthy emotionally and mentally, but there is a huge difference for a child who is already on anti-anxiety medications (per Sarah’s comments in the reddit threads) to receive bullying that goes to the extent of telling her she should be dead.

        Calling a pudgy kid fat is one thing, telling another child that they should die is completely different. Should children have thicker skins against being told they should die?

        I have no problem at all with higher awareness of bullying in schools. Perhaps I’m a bit of a dreamer, but I don’t think there is any harm in children feeling safe. Thin or thick skin. You go to school to learn and you can’t learn in an environment that you do not feel is safe.

        This isn’t just a lesson in, “Someone faster will beat you in sports, someone smarter will get the scholarship, someone better looking will steal your boy/girl friend, people will lie about you, try to cheat you, call you names and shove you out of the way because they want that promotion or new client you want at work.” – This is a completely different scenario.

        This is about one child intentionally causing extreme emotional distress and telling them to be dead. Last time I checked, it wasn’t a part of life for your competitors to tell you to just kill yourself.

  • SpecialEd

    I agree with Earl. I was always the short fat kid in school and no stranger to bullies. Now I am a successful professional, and guess what we have an office bully with no real authority, but just seems to enjoy making other people’s lives miserable. School is a learning experience, and learning how to ignore soemone’s quips is part of it. If you don’t want your kid to get bullied, then send them to homeschool. The last time I checked no one gets along with everyone and part of life is dealing with confrontation. If it gets physical, then that’s what laws criminalizing assault and battery are for. But no offense to this kid at Arrundel High, no one did you any favors today except teach you how not to stand up for yourself.

  • StandStrong

    I disagree about the comment that “no one did you any favors today except teach you how not sto stand up for yourself.” There will always be miserable people who want to bring others down into their misery. This young lady learned that she wasn’t alone in this scenario and that there are people who care enough to take action against unwarranted attacks. Do not forget that she is the victim and not the aggressor. Perhaps knowing that she has the support of her school community and the outpouring of attention focused on this problem will empower her to stand up for herself and not allow someone to beat her down psychologically. It is not only about learning to develop thick skins, but more importantly learning how to cope and rise above those who seek to bring us down.

    • Kathryn

      you cope by growing a thick skin- the bullying will never stop in real life. It is wrong to make a big deal over it, get over it & move in, that’s what adults do!

  • meeeeeeeeeeeeee

    Cant we slaughter the bully in public to prevent another VTech or Columbine???

  • Chana

    @Earl, really, SpecialEd, Kathryn,
    The solution to school bullying has not, nor has it ever been, to grow thicker skin. The fact that you were irked enough to post here against the victim shows that your own experiences being bullied still bother you. Your skin isn’t as thick as you think it is. A lot of the time, fighting back against the bully just urges the bully to try that much harder to destroy their victim. The only person who was being coddled here was the abuser who learned, up until now when he was suspended, that he could get away with tormenting this girl because the adults who were supposed to teach and be his role model for social behavior weren’t going to stop him. Humans will do whatever they can get away with. I’m sorry that the adults who were supposed to help and support you left you to flounder when you were being harassed as children, but don’t be jealous of this girl because people flocked to help her when she asked for it and that she’s now getting attention in the news for it. Schools should be safe environments for students to learn and develop their talents. They can’t do that if they have to waste energy defending themselves and worrying if they’re going to survive the day. It is not a sign of weakness to seek help and support when you need it. Humans are a social species. We function best when we’re in groups, not the nihilistic individualism that American society likes to promote. The confidence and validation one feels when people show up to help and support you is far, far better than the type one feels when forced to go it alone.

  • Bethany Russel

    Stratton is a mean,hateful bully and will blame this oln everyone else or claim she did not know anything about it. She should resaign along with all of her idiot assistant principals. Time for a major chanmge at AHS.

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