NEW JERSEY – A Franklin Borough teenager has been charged with cyber harassment after allegedly encouraging an elementary school student to commit suicide, Franklin Borough police said.
The student, who was not named, is accused of encouraging two girls, one of whom is in elementary school, to harm themselves online this past week, Chief of Police Gregory M. Cugliari said in a statement. The elementary school student had posted about suicide prevention, Cugliari said when the boy commented and made ” harassing and disparaging remarks encouraging suicide.”
He sent a second girl a photo of a man pointing a gun at himself, and encouraged her to kill herself, Cugliari said.
The student was accompanied by his parents to be arrested Monday night, where he was charged with a single count of cyber harassment. He was released back to his parents with an upcoming first appearance in Sussex County Superior Court, Family / Juvenile division.
“If you discover that your child is being cyberbullied, offer comfort and support. Let someone at school (the principal, school nurse, or a counselor or teacher) know about the situation. Encourage your child not to respond to cyberbullying, because doing so just fuels the fire and makes the situation worse,” Cugliari said. “But do keep the threatening messages, pictures, and texts, as these can use for the police. You may want to take, save, and print screenshots of these to have for the future.”