Rebecca Sedwick: Funeral today for 12-year-old Lakeland girl driven to suicide by bullying

11:33 AM, Sep 16, 2013   |    comments
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Rebecca Sedwick (family photo)
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Bartow, Florida -- Rebecca Sedwick's friends will dress in bright colors at her funeral Monday. Her family says somber, black outfits are not what she would have wanted.

Family and friends gathered at Whidden-McLean Funeral Home in Bartow on Monday morning to pay their final respects to Sedwick, the 12-year-old Lakeland girl who took her own life a week ago.

Also read: Mom who lost daughter launches anti-bullying campaign

She's fun, silly, and happy in cell phone videos her family shared with 10 News. But she had been stalked by bullies for a year and a half.

It started in person, and after she changed schools to get away, the torment continued online.

Sheriff's investigators say she committed suicide at an abandoned cement facility near her home when the bullies' message -- that she's worthless -- took hold of her and wouldn't let go.

Three groups held fundraisers for her family over the weekend to help pay for her funeral.

The first two were Saturday at Sluggers restaurant in Bloomingdale and Tadpoles restaurant in Brandon. The third came on Sunday at a 7-Eleven on the north side of Lakeland.

Folks at the fundraisers also helped spread the word about bullying and the power that painful words can carry.

A wake welcoming friends and family will begin at 9 a.m. at Whidden-McLean Funeral Home. A celebration of life is set for 11 a.m.

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