Police looking at cyberbullying in girl's death
TAUNTON, Mass. —
The news of 14-year-old Kacie Palm's death rocked the city of Taunton. Police are investigating if cyberbullying is to blame.
The teen's parents told their story to a local reporter, and it was front page news for the Taunton Gazette.
The Palms said their daughter committed suicide on July 17. Comments online have them wondering if cyberbullying is to blame.
A Taunton detective is now investigating.
"Absolutely, because I think people feel threatened and there's a lot of that going on in the schools," said Taunton resident Tena Kerns, "I have three children myself."
"It's a terrible thing," said Taunton resident Juliana Ramos. "And kids take it so to heart what they say on Facebook and what they say on these sites."
The news of Kacie's death quickly spread in Taunton and online. Her Rest in Peace page on Facebook page has 3,000 likes. Many people are pushing for an end to cyberbullying.
On Twitter, the hashtag JusticeForKacie has taken off.
The Palms said they've heard several theories why Kacie committed suicide. One claims someone made a webpage to bully and harass her. Another claims she did it after sending a picture to a boy.
Kacie's parents said that boy was mentioned in her suicide note, but the Palm family said teens aren't telling them what happened.
"They should come forward and go to the police and let them know what is going on," Ramos said.
Whatever police uncover, one thing is true, this tragic story is bringing both cyberbullying and suicide to light in Taunton.
Kerns said she's been talking to her children about suicide and cyberbullying as a result.
"Yes, I have, because it's actually very predominant," Kerns said. "It's very sad because these children don't get the help that they need."
The Bristol County Regional Coalition for Suicide Prevention is co-hosting suicide prevention training in Taunton on Aug. 16 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Benjamin A. Friedman Middle School at 500 Norton Ave. To register, call 508-922-7278.
The event was planned before Kacie's death.