Leah Berenson
Leah Berenson
April 6, 2024 ·  3 min read

Teen Finds Out Anonymous Internet Bully Who Harassed Her for a Year is Actually Her Mom

As adults, it’s our responsibility to protect children. They don’t always make the safest, kindest, or smartest choices, but parents play a crucial role in their children’s development. The responsibility to protect becomes more pertinent when those children are our own. In contrast, Kendra Gail Licari is being charged with online bullying her daughter and her boyfriend. 

Launching an Investigation

Beal City Schools in Isabella County, Michigan, launched an investigation after receiving a complaint about online bullying. According to Prosecutor David Barberi, the messages began in early 2021, although no complaint was made until December. In January 2022, the school district involved law enforcement, and by April, the FBI’s Computer Crime Division was working on the case.

Image Credit: Isabella County Jail

Participating in Online Bullying

Kendra Gail Licari was working at her daughter’s school at the time as a basketball coach. When the FBI tracked the IP addresses, they were able to link them with Licari. She used Virtual Private Networks, also known as VPNs, to hide her location. This made it easy to make it look like the messages were coming from somewhere else.

She went so far as to use abbreviations and slang to make it seem like the messages were coming from another teenager. The prosecutor’s office has almost 350 pages of texts and other social media messages that indicate severe online bullying. Officials haven’t disclosed all of the content of the messages, but when Licari was confronted about the allegations, she made a full confession.

Facing Consequences

Licari was released on a $5,000 bond following the arraignment but could face years behind bars. She has been charged with two counts of stalking a minor and one count of obstruction of justice; both are 5-year felonies. Additionally, she is being charged with two counts of using a computer to commit a crime, considered a 10-year felony. Licari’s hearing is scheduled for the 29th of December, 2022. Courts will examine the evidence and decipher whether there’s enough evidence to go to trial.

Statistics of Online Bullying

Online bullying has led to unfortunate circumstances, the most extreme being suicide. Suicide is the second leading cause of death for adolescents in the U.S., and bullying is known to raise the risk of thoughts of or attempted suicide. Social networks have different risk factors, but each has an alarming percentage of victims of online bullying. YouTube users are the most likely to be cyberbullied at 79 percent, followed by Snapchat at 69 percent, TikTok at 64 percent, and Facebook at 49 percent.

A Dose of Reality

Advancements in technology have made life a little more convenient than it once was. Technology allows us to keep in touch with the people we love worldwide. It allowed us to communicate with our work colleagues and keep appointments during quarantine. Additionally, medical advancements have saved millions of lives and improved the quality of life for many others.

With the use of technology, we can do some really incredible things. Although advancements have been rapid, we have been made aware of some downsides. This story is not only concerning regarding her parenting methods but also sheds light on a concerning topic. Through this story, we are reminded of the dangers of online bullying.

Kids need love, encouragement, and guidance. Parents are meant to be a safe space where their kids can grow and learn to do better. Although Licari’s motives are unclear, this strange use of online bullying is an example of the damaging effects of harassment.

Keep Reading: Father takes daughter’s bullying victim on a shopping trip to teach her a lesson

Sources

  1. Teen finds out anonymous internet bully who harassed her for a year is actually her mom.” Unilad. Emily Brown. December 17, 2022.
  2. Cyberbullying: Twenty crucial statistics for 2022.” Security. Security.org Team. November 4, 2022.