Florida Parents Sue Over Daughter’s “Sexting” Suicide

April 15, 2011

The parents of a 13-year-old Tampa girl who hanged herself after enduring classmates’ taunts over a revealing photo texted to a boy have sued the school district.

The parents of Hope Witsell filed a federal lawsuit this week, accusing the school district of violating the civil rights of them and their daughter. They say school personnel saw signs that Hope was distraught and could have prevented the suicide.

The lawsuit said school officials knew Hope was the victim of “extraordinary ridicule and harassment” because of the “sexting” incident in the fall of 2009 at Beth Shields Middle School.

Hope had texted a partially nude picture of herself to a boy, and the photo was passed along to other classmates.

A school district spokeswoman declined to comment on pending litigation.

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