Reddit gets police action for bullied girl

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A high-school redditor in Maryland who complained to the site that bullies at her school were driving her to suicidal thoughts found sweet justice in the form of police intervention.

The redditor, who identified herself as “Sarah,” shared a tale of horrible treatment, like getting messages—both in person and online—that said: “Go kill yourself. No one would care if you died. Why aren’t you dead yet?”

She identified one tormenter in particular, Kevin, who ran a Twitter account devoted to attacking her with derogatory terms like “slut” and a “dyke.” While Sarah is straight, she said, Kevin “knows my mother is gay, and I take offense to the word.”

“I have AP Lit in the morning. Sarah, if you say a single word, you are getting choked,” read another tweet, she claimed.

When other users on Reddit expressed their support for her and offered to email her principal, Sarah was clearly touched. She was even more touched when, to her surprise, the police came for Kevin.

“HOLY S%&^ YOU GUYS! I get off my bus this morning, and I see an unusual amount of cops around the school,” she wrote.

A media spokesperson for Anne Arundel County Police Department confirmed to the Daily Dot that a 17-year-old male student was issued a juvenile citation for harassment at Sarah’s school, then released into his parent’s custody. The timing matched up with Sarah’s story, but the spokesperson couldn’t give more detail, since the student is a minor.

At least one user who claims to be a classmate thought Sarah blew her claims out of proportion.

“What Kevin said was terrible,” wrote user TruthAboutThis, in a since-deleted comment. “However, you blew this out of proportion.

“[Y]ou’re the only one that actually did something about this, and it’s because you cared,” TruthAboutThis continued. “And you shouldn’t have. Who gives a shit about Kevin? Look at him. He’s a complete loser. No one in our grade (or our school) has any respect for him or anything he says.”

Other redditors didn’t take kindly to TruthAboutThis, who has no other comments and created the account Thursday. They downvoted the above comment over 2,500 times.

“This is one of the nastiest, self-congratulatory little bits of rationalization for cowardice that I’ve read in a long time,” replied theartfulcodger. “You had the chance to do something decent and honourable, to correct a situation that was obviously and clearly wrong, yet you chose not to act.”

“As you grow up, you will increasingly realize that the world is filled with doers and talkers,” theartfulcodger continued. “Sarah is a ‘doer’. Guess which category you fit into???”

For her part, Sarah ignored her critics and thanked Reddit profusely for its help.

“You guys made this all happen overnight and sped up the process ten-fold!” she wrote.

“I don’t think I can say thank you enough for helping me, and everyone else, finally deal with the school cyber bully. I love you, Reddit!!!”

Photo by davidsonscott15

Kevin Collier

Kevin Collier

A former senior politics reporter for the Daily Dot, Kevin Collier focuses on privacy, cybersecurity, and issues of importance to the open internet. Since leaving the Daily Dot in March 2016, he has served as a reporter for Vocativ and a cybersecurity correspondent for BuzzFeed.