Police searching for cyber bullies who harassed special needs student

Oct 19, 2013 by

PLANO, Texas – A special needs student in Texas is the target of a vicious cyber bullying campaign by her fellow students, and her mother is fighting back.

Shea Shawhan, an 18-year-old junior at West Senior High School in Plano, suffered a severe brain injury at birth and, as a result, has the mental capacity of an 8-year-old and is prone to seizures, Fox reports.

Despite her disability, the teen participates in the school’s cheerleading squad and plays on the softball team, but her life took a turn for the worst recently when she began receiving vulgar and threatening text messages from senders claiming to be anonymous students.

Police and school officials are working to track down the culprits, but the taunting missives originate from generic phone numbers generated by web applications, making them difficult to trace, according to the news site.

“She’s so sweet and I’m so frustrated I can’t find out who it is. I just want to find that parent and say, ‘What did you do? Do you know your child is doing this?’” Shea’s mother, Keri Riddell, told Fox.

The texts, which started eight months ago and persisted despite Riddell changing Shea’s number, are very heartless and cruel:

“Shea should just have one of her f****** seizures and die because people at west don’t want her. That’s the reason she has seizures, because that’s karma for giving birth to a freaky slut,” one text read.

“You think u can find out who I am because that’s pathetic. I am many because we are a group and a union of people who dislike u. U r pathetic,” another message read. “I’m pretty sure ur going to hell. God doesn’t like sluts. U need to be cleaned.”

“Shea is so annoying but cute I want to do more than just kiss her I want to rape her then kill her. That will finally make sure she goes away for good,” one of the texts read.

The Daily Mail reports Riddell set up a Facebook account called ImWithShea to defend her daughter and advocate against bullying. The site has 70,290 likes as of this morning. The cause has received support from the Dallas Mavericks NBA basketball team, which invited Shea to meet the team’s cheerleaders; political commentator Glenn Beck; as well as numerous television stations and parents and students who have had similar experiences.

Riddell also started a non-profit to fight bullying, selling t-shirts with the slogan I Stand With Shea.

Shea has mostly shrugged off the vicious texts, which recently stopped. The town and nation has flooded Shea and her family with support, and she recently attended a school dance with a donated hairdo, stylish new clothes, and a handsome date.

Police are also getting closer to identifying the suspected student bullies. They’re working with the online texting application company, and are seeking search warrants for the exact identities of the texters.

“I do want them found, and I want them brought to justice,” Riddell told Fox. “More importantly, I want their parents to know their kids were doing this.”

Police said the perpetrators could be charged with misdemeanor harassment and face up to six months in jail and a $2,000 fine.

Police searching for cyber bullies who harassed special needs student – EAGnews.org powered by Education Action Group Foundation, Inc..

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