High school student arrested for encouraging girl to kill herself

A New Jersey high school student was arrested for encouraging an elementary school girl and another person online to take their lives in response to the girl’s suicide awareness post, police said.

The male high school student from Franklin, New Jersey, was accused of making “harassing and disparaging remarks encouraging suicide” in response to the girl’s post, Franklin Borough Police Chief Gregory Cugliari told NJ.com.

He then made “harassing and disparaging” comments encouraging suicide to another girl and sent the image of a person pointing a gun at himself, Cugliari added.

The teen was arrested at 6 p.m. Monday on cyber harassment charges and released to his parents pending an appearance at Sussex County Superior Court.

His arrest stemmed from a complaint police received Friday.

“If you discover that your child is being cyber-bullied, offer comfort and support,” the chief wrote in announcing the arrest. “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. But do keep the threatening messages, pictures, and texts, as these can useful for the police. You may want to take, save, and print screenshots of these to have for the future. Remember to praise your child for doing the right thing by talking to you about it. Remind your child that he or she isn’t alone.”

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