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Cyber bullying victim speaks out

Regan High School cheerleader focus of inappropriate Tweets

SAN ANTONIO - The Bexar County Sheriff's Office is investigating a case of cyber bullying after the parents of a San Antonio teenager reported she was the target of some very inappropriate tweets on the popular social networking site Twitter.

"I felt very victimized by them, and it was just really upsetting and really humiliating," said Laura Smith.

Monday night Laura Smith learned someone set up an anonymous account on Twitter and used it to say horrible things about the 15-year-old Reagan High School student. While the cheerleader was upset by what she read online she wasn't exactly surprised because she'd been bullied before.

"I think it's horrible and it needs to stop," Smith said.

Friends alerted Smith about the tweets and she got her parents involved.

"It is criminal to do what they did," said Laura's dad Mike Smith. "It's malicious and they also face civil penalties because it's slander and libel."

Within hours of reporting the incident to Bexar County deputies and Twitter an investigation was launched to find the person who set up the account and wrote the offending messages.

"We already know who did it, in the sense of who the computer is," Mike Smith said. "It's just a matter of the legal side catching up so the police can actually go out and serve the warrant and go out there and take care of this."

The Smith's are taking the cyber bullying seriously. They know of other kids who've been targeted recently and one of the kids attempted suicide.

"It was just heartbreaking because it does hurt. It hurts these kids," said Laura's mom Maya Smith. "These kids who are out there in their rooms by themselves seeing this stuff and don't have parents to turn to or friends to turn to are going to possibly do something drastic."

The Twitter account used by the bully has been shut down but the Smith's know another one could easily pop up.

"I just really want for everyone to know that it might be funny in their eyes but it really does hurt the person it's being said about," Laura Smith said. "It wasn't funny to me at all."


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