• Cyberbully hears from teen’s mom

    Date: 06.20.12 | by Judge Tom.

    Florida mom Debbie Piscitella allegedly took matters into her own hands in protecting her daughter, McKenna. The fourteen year old was the victim of cyberbullying on Facebook. Comments included name-calling and vile remarks such as she’s “a fat ******whale and didn’t deserve to live because she is so nasty that he wouldn’t even rape her.”

    The girl’s father tried unsuccessfully to get the bully to stop. Her mother reported the bullying to the school resource officer and the police but nothing was done. Then when Jon, the  14-year-old bully was seen at a mall in St. Petersburg in May, 2012, the mother approached him. She reportedly yelled at him before choking him. Debbie claims to have placed one hand on his neck, not both. However, security videos and marks on his neck suggest otherwise. Debbie commented afterwards on Facebook that the police “understood exactly why I did it.” She was arrested,  taken to jail and charged with child abuse.

    Debbie Piscitella

    When Debbie posted bail, she appeared on Good Morning America and admitted she lost it. She doesn’t want to be seen as a monster who goes after kids, but when Jon told her he wasn’t going to stop the bullying, she reacted. McKenna appeared upset during the interview and, her mother stated, wanted to hurt herself because of the online comments. Debbie regrets not contacting Jon’s parents about the situation before confronting Jon personally. Oftentimes, contacting the bully’s parents is the way to go. Many times, they have no idea that their teen is bullying other kids at school or online. Once notified, they can address it directly with their son or daughter and put an end to it.

    Judge Tom

    This post was written by Judge Tom. Judge Tom is the founder and moderator of AsktheJudge.info. He is a retired juvenile judge and spent 23 years on the bench. He has written several books for lawyers and judges as well as teens and parents including the recently published 'Teen Cyberbullying Investigated' (Free Spirit Publishing). When he's not answering teens' questions, Judge Tom can be found hiking, traveling and reading.

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