Cyberbullying Hits Home for Local Teen

By: Stephanie Salvatore Email
By: Stephanie Salvatore Email

Blythe Newsome never thought it would happen to her daughter.

"She was just acting, not like her normal happy self and I really did attribute it to just being in high school and some changes."

Newsome soon found out that it was much more than high school nerves. Her 14 year old was being cyberbullied for weeks, harassed on a fake Facebook account that someone had made pretending to be her.

"They'd say these really bad things on people's pages that I would never ever say," says Newsome's daughter.

The taunting went on for weeks before she decided to tell her mom what was going on. The concerned mom said she contacted every one she could think of only to be told that nothing could be done to stop it, something that made her motherly instinct kick in even more.

"There is this animal like instinct that any parent knows about that you have a divine right to be able to protect your child, and I'm being told that I can't protect her I can't protect her from the things that are being said and done on the internet."

While bullying happens every day in the halls at school, many don't realize that the same thing can happen in your own home - on the internet.

The teenager has moved to a new school because of the incident but knows cyber-bullying can follow you anywhere.

"I think everyone gets bullied at least once in a while, but I never thought I would be, because I'm not like the type, the mean kind I guess."

Newsome says she's told that police may have been able to finally track down an IP address and are hoping to catch the bully soon and take action against whoever it is.

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  • by Rosemary N. Palmer Location: Tallahassee on Dec 19, 2010 at 11:49 AM
    As a civil rights atty who does special ed cases (and a mother), I have more experience than I'd like on both sides. Arrest won't help. Suspension from school will not fix it (though they should change their school, not your dd. FL law now requires this for convictions: parents should assure a victim doesn't need to pursue a conviction.) I always work towards restorative justice. Parents should take away all internet and cellphones until after they have worked steadily all their waking hours (drop out of all sports; if they are too young to get a job, then their parents or extended family should require they work at extraordinary things and pay them)until they have paid $2,000 or so to your daughter. They should also apologize (school assembly?), in front of all the other kiddos who saw or heard of what they were doing. This approach goes a long way to helping your dd put this behind her, the boys get on with their lives, and the bullying culture slapped down.
  • by Gema on Nov 22, 2010 at 02:27 PM
    i was in one fresh a few days ago and i listened to these people crown and omar talkin about some employee and how they were trying to get him fired. they were talking so bad like bullying him at his job or something. i see they don't do anything about stuff like this at peoples job. i tried to complain cause they were cussing about the man in front of customers in spanish but they said they were the boss and i couldnt find a complaint line. i think bullying is stupid no matter where you are. grow up cause you dont know a persons situation and you dont kno how doing something like gettin them fired can affect the rest of their life. i'm still disturbed and hope they didnt fire the person they were talking about cause they were sayin things like they don't care how he feeds his baby but it doesnt need to be with their money. ridiculous.
  • by sarah on Nov 20, 2010 at 06:35 AM
    Good parent! I was personally bullied on campus when I was in the fifth grade and they did nothing about it. I think you did an amazing job by taking action and I pray it doesn't follow this young girl. People, when you're talking bad on these comments about others posts but saying that you don't like cyberbullying, look in the mirror.
  • by Matthew Walters Location: Chicago on Nov 20, 2010 at 05:37 AM
    Cyberbullying examples are so rampant that the stories (other than deaths) are going to get old, just like stories of fallen soldiers. We become numb to the individual stories. For this reason, we need to focus on solving the problem through both educating youth, reshifting cultural norms and insuring that the platforms for abuse are stopped. Burnbook was shut down yet TOPIX.COM hides behind its other job, aggregating news, a noble thought which has all but become ignored because TOPIX is a destination for hate, racism, cyberbullying and defamation thanks to its unmoderated forums which have destroyed lives around the nation and the world. Please go to for information. Lets get TOPIX shut down before we have to read another story that makes us stop and think, wow I could have done something.
  • by Anonymous on Nov 19, 2010 at 03:23 PM
    When bullying occurs on a school campus and the administrators are made aware of it, its their duty to get to the bottom of the situation. Kids will be kids but bullying is beyond the normal accepted behavior by kids. Unless this fake Facebook page was created, at school, by a student, the school is not responsible. The origin of the page can be traced to the ISP, computer, time & date. Courts use this type information all the time, it just takes going through the proper channels and time to retrieve the info. The State cannot stop bullying, they can pass laws which allow consequences. One thing to consider, when bullying occurs, the victim usually,not always, has a good idea who is responsible/involved, they are embarrassed/afraid to point fingers, this is why they suffer in silence until an adult suspects something and intervenes on their behalf. If parents at each school would band together/organize to show up periodically at the school unannounced, much of this would stop.
  • by Anonymous on Nov 19, 2010 at 01:36 PM
    the state isnt really doing anything about bullying parents out there who have victims as children have to fight it themselves. i have had the sschool tell me that they basically cant do anything unless it happens on school grounds. that means they are not responsible if your child is waiting for hte bus too. my daughter was hit by rocks and i had to deal with it. my daughter gets notes in her locker at WHS with inappropiate language of sexual harrasement and nothing gets done. one day one parent or someone will help these school officials from stop drinking their mocha. like the parents who got on the bus and took in his daugher defense well my glass goes up to him. this is not going to stop until the school board does something not saying somehting that they are doing which they aint.
  • by just sayin Location: tally on Nov 19, 2010 at 11:17 AM
    YEP...I can honestly say I have never picked on or bullied anyone in my entire life. No reason to do it...My self esteem is completely intact. Most bullies have issues. And, about the names...display the juveniles name and I wouldn't worry about the parents. Kids use their age to "skirt" laws and when the age of adulthood is dropped for certain crimes they should get prosecuted for something they KNOW they are doing. If I knew my child was bullying someone, then yes I would become a bully and show MY child what it's like. You doubted wrong...are you the parent?
  • by Anne Location: Tallahassee on Nov 19, 2010 at 08:25 AM
    Anonymous - You did miss everything. I agree with redhead. Get Real!
  • by marie Location: tallahassee on Nov 19, 2010 at 06:41 AM
    Cyber Bullying, according to Leon County Schools, can get students expelled from Leon County Schools for 2 years -- I say print was is being shown on internet and take to the school board -- there are ways of tracking where the posts are coming from -- good luck
  • by redhead on Nov 19, 2010 at 06:23 AM
    @anonymous I don't think you read the article. It wouldn't have mattered if she didn't go back to the site. Someone made a fake Facebook pretending to be her. There is no way she could stop that. And that person was posting rude comments on her peers and possibly friends walls. Avoiding the site would not avoid her being confronted at school by these people. Get real.
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