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13-Year-Old Jailed After Bully Framed Her For Making Bomb Threats Files To Sue School & Instagram

Photo: Youtube / ABC News
Nia Whims

A Florida teenager is seeking justice after she was wrongfully arrested and detained at a juvenile detention facility for 11 days when a classmate impersonated her online and sent threatening social-media messages.

The 13-year-old girl, Nia Whims, has been exonerated of all charges after police said that a 12-year-old student at her school had "maliciously impersonated" her.

The student had used Whims personal details to create an email address, opened multiple Instagram accounts, and sent herself and other students threatening messages.

Now, Nia Whims' family is suing her school along with Instagram over the incident. 

Her mother, Lezlie-Ann Davis, has taken a lawsuit against Meta, the social media company behind Instagram, and Renaissance Charter School at Pines.

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The lawsuit alleges that the girl had been bullied at her school in Pembroke Pines. Davis had reported the bullying happening to her daughter back in August, requesting a meeting with school officials.

The meeting between the school and Davis ultimately never happened, with the school refusing to address the mother's concerns. Eventually, Davis had to pull Whims from school after the bullying intensified, enrolling her somewhere else.

However, in November, Whims began talking to a student at Renaissance Charter School about the bullying, and the lawsuit identifies the second preteen as M.S.

After conversing, M.S. allegedly created a fake Instagram page using Whims' name. While pretending to be the 13-year-old girl, M.S. allegedly sent herself messages that “included threats to blow up the school and kill people."

The threatening messages were then shown to a teacher, who immediately informed school officials along with the police.

It was then that Pembroke Pines police began investigating where the threats had come from, and were reportedly told by M.S. that Whims had sent the messages threatening the entire school.

The Pembroke Police Department said that M.S. had "intentionally lied to law enforcement and school staff to frame" Whims for the bomb threats, and because she lied to authorities, they arrested Whims in November, taking her to a juvenile detention center.

At the time of her arrest, Whims had been charged with a second-degree felonyf or making a written threat to do bodily harm or commit an act of terrorism.

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The teenager had spent 11 days in the facility before being released after authorities discovered that the messages came from an IP address connected to M.S.

The family of Nia Whims believe her school failed to protect her from bullies.

"I feel distanced," Whims said at a news conference. "I really don't want to talk to anybody."

In the lawsuit, Davis says that her daughter's school had failed to investigate the multiple bullying incidents Whims had experienced, the police department failed to promptly investigate whether the Instagram accounts actually belonged to Whims, and that Instagram failed to cooperate with police.

The lawsuit accuses Instagram of failing to prevent someone from impersonating someone else. It also says Instagram did not quickly provide information that is “literally available at the press of a button” that would have quickly proven Whims' innocence.

In an updated statement, police said that Whims' family were initially not cooperating with authorities during the early stages of the investigation, a claim Davis has rebuffed.

The department said that Davis didn't begin cooperating with investigators until December, which is when she allegedly provided information that led them to subpoena an IP address connected to the threatening messages.

However, the family says in their lawsuit that they gave the police Whims' iPad that she had used to talk to M.S. on the same day she had been arrested.

The 12-year-old who had impersonated Whims was charged with several crimes including written threats to kill or do bodily harm, and falsifying a police report.

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Nia Tipton is a writer living in Brooklyn. She covers pop culture, social justice issues, and trending topics. Follow her on Instagram.

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