A friend of Rebecca Sedwick claimed she was being bullied but Polk deputies say it was all a hoax

POLK COUNTY, Fla - A Lakeland girl, who was friends with Rebecca Sedwick, claimed a Facebook page was created to bully her called, 'Brianna's Next."  Polk County deputies say it was all a hoax and the girl made the page herself.

Now, her parents are adamant she take responsibility for her actions.

"I am sorry to all the people that I hurt," said Brianna in an exclusive interview with ABC Action News Saturday afternoon.

ABC Action News first spoke with Brianna Earls and her mother Friday night.  At the time, it was not yet revealed that Brianna created the page.

"It really breaks my heart," the 12-year-old said Friday night.

Brianna's mother called 911 when she saw the page Wednesday night.

Darlene Earls says she was scared because just a couple weeks ago, Brianna's good friend, Rebecca Sedwick committed suicide.  Family members of Rebecca maintain that severe bullying was what led her to take her own life.

Friday night, Earls called the person responsible for the page targeting her daughter 'sick and in need of help.'

Darlene said she stands by her statement and her daughter will now have to suffer the consequences.

Deputies were able to track where the page was created via an IP address.   That address was the Earls home in Lakeland.

Brianna's father Shad could not say why his daughter created the fake page but that Brianna had mentioned 'she wanted the girls [who bullied Rebecca] to pay.'

"I wanna say it is a cry for help of some sort," Darlene said.

Brianna was arrested Friday night and charged with providing false information to a law enforcement officer. She was released Friday morning from a juvenile detention center.

The Earls say they are embarrassed by the hoax and want the public to know they are good parents.

"It is easy for someone to say, "Where was the mom? Is the mom in on it?'" Darlene said.

Darlene says back in February Brianna was being bullied.  Her parents stepped in and decided to home school her.  They also banned her from using social media.

"Just when you think you have done everything you can possibly do, these children are one step ahead of you," Darlene added.

In Brianna's case, she waited until her parents fell asleep Wednesday night, grabbed their Kindle and created the page.

Now, her parents are stepping up once again.  This time, they are doing so by not hiding from the truth.

"It is important for us to say, 'You know what?  We completely take responsibility for what our child has done,'" Darlene said.

Brianna will go before a judge next month.

Her parents are hoping someone will provide them with the resources to get their daughter help.


 

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