06 December 2011

Lewd text messages land girl in trouble

SELINSGROVE -- A 13-year-old Selinsgrove Middle School student was cited Monday with summary harassment for allegedly sending profanity-laced text messages to a classmate.

Selinsgrove borough police officer Mark Wolfberg said a juvenile was charged, but declined to confirm any details provided to The Daily Item by her 14-year-old accuser and her mother, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

The mother said she felt forced to take the matter to police to protect her daughter and put an end to the alleged bullying.

The woman's daughter said she and the alleged bully had been friends for years when their relationship deteriorated about a year ago. At that time, her mother complained to local police about harassment. She opted against filing charges and told her daughter to stop socializing with the girl. Despite the admonition, the teens continued to be friends.

The girl said the bullying started to recur in school about a month ago, prompting her mother to speak about it with middle school Principal John Bohle. "Three days later, my daughter told me it was getting worse," the older woman said, which led to another meeting with Bohle. Both mother and daughter claim the problems escalated, and on Friday, the 14-year-old received seven lewd text messages within five minutes from the other girl. She responded with her own message: "I'm telling my mom K bye."

Seeing the texts, the mother decided it was time to go to police and follow through with a formal complaint.

"It has to stop somewhere," she said.

Bullying has a different look now.

Girls are more apt to use social media to bully other girls, but boys are increasingly using the medium to go after others.

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