Canadian Teen Convicted Of Bullying Friend Into Suicide
More than a year ago, 15-year-old Dawn Marie Wesley of British Columbia hanged herself.
In a landmark criminal trial for Canada, a girl accused of threats that led to Wesley's suicide will be punished.
"I wish Dawn's family never lost her and all of us friends never lost her," said one of the teens who was acquitted. "I wish it could have been different."
That 16 year old, who asked not to be identified, had just been acquitted of threatening Wesley, a schoolmate.
But another teen was found guilty of criminal harassment.
Prosecutors says she threatened Wesley with phrases such as "You're dead" and "if you keep talking, I'll beat you up."
"This wasn't just for Dawn-Marie today," said Dawn's mother Cindy Wesley on Monday. "This ruling goes for every child in this country that's been bullied. It's not right. I thank God for that judge. I thank God for the crown council that heard this."
Another student, Sunny Moyer, told about the trauma that bullies can cause.
"And suddenly, somebody comes up you -- you don't know who they are -- and they tell you, 'You're fat and ugly, you don't belong in this school. Go back to where you came from,' " she said.
Bullied students in Washington have come forward with similar stories.
In fact their stories helped push forward a new bill -- now a Washington law -- designed to prevent bullying.
It forces each school district to adopt a policy prohibiting harassment, intimidation or bullying of any student.
A recent ABC News special used a hidden camera on the playground to show how prevalent bullying is.
The video showed kids picking on kids, and even kids ganging up on each other.
The report said researchers saw an episode of bullying roughly every 8 minutes. And girls were as likely to bully as boys.
Supporters of the new Washington law say this behavior can lead to rash decisions.
Tragically, in the case in Canada, it led to suicide.
But until now, no courts have taken a step like the Canadian courts, prosecuting bullies for the harm done.
The teen in Canada will be sentenced in 6 weeks. She could spend 6 months in custody or get 2 years in probation.