Petition Closed

On September 9, 2013; 12-year-old Rebecca Selwick committed suicide due to over a year of rampant bullying from as many as 15 girls at Crystal Lake Middle School in Lakeland, Florida.  The bullying not only took place during school hours, but also online.  Rebecca's mother, Tricia Norman, said she told Crystal Lake principal Chris Canning and other administrators about the bullying, but only cursory (if any) action was taken.  The bullying got so severe that Norman was forced to take Rebecca out of school midway through last year and put her in a new school for the beginning of this year.  However, the bullying continued unabated online, and Rebecca eventually got to the point that she couldn't take any more.  Making this even more grotesque are claims from several students and parents at Crystal Lake that bullying is a serious problem there.

If these claims are in fact true, then Canning has failed in the most basic duty of a principal--to provide a safe environment for his students.  The Polk County School Board is investigating the incident, but any investigation would be a joke unless it demands a full accounting from Canning about the bullying problem at Crystal Lake, and how he handled Rebecca's situation in particular.  If it is in fact true that he didn't respond appropriately to Norman's complaints, then the only appropriate remedy is for Canning to be fired.

Letter to
Superintendent, Polk County Public Schools Kathryn LeRoy
Chairwoman, Polk County School Board Hazel Sellers
Vice-Chairwoman, Polk County School Board Kay Fields
and 5 others
Member, Polk County School Board Hunt Berryman
Member, Polk County School Board Lori Cunningham
Member, Polk County School Board Dick Mullenax
Member, Polk County School Board Debra Wright
Member, Polk County School Board Tim Harris
On September 9, 2013; 12-year-old Rebecca Selwick committed suicide due to over a year of rampant bullying from as many as 15 girls at Crystal Lake Middle School in Lakeland, Florida. The bullying not only took place during school hours, but also online. Rebecca's mother, Tricia Norman, said she told Crystal Lake principal Chris Canning and other administrators about the bullying, but only cursory (if any) action was taken. The bullying got so severe that Norman was forced to take Rebecca out of school midway through last year and put her in a new school for the beginning of this year. However, the bullying continued unabated online, and Rebecca eventually got to the point that she couldn't take any more. Making this even more grotesque are claims from several students and parents at Crystal Lake that bullying is a serious problem there.

If these claims are in fact true, then Canning has failed in the most basic duty of a principal--to provide a safe environment for his students. Any investigation would be a joke unless it demands a full accounting from Canning about the bullying problem at Crystal Lake, and how he handled Rebecca's situation in particular. If it is in fact true that he didn't respond appropriately to Norman's complaints, then the only appropriate remedy is for Canning to be fired.