Local teen's story shines light on teen dating violence

- A young woman's survival story is sparking change across Florida, with more children possibly being protected from bullies and dating violence.

In 2009, at just 14 years old, Tayler Mack's then-boyfriend stabbed her 14 times and then set her on fire.

Miraculously, she survived, and when state Representative Mia Jones heard Tayler's story it became personal.

Jones says, "I wanted to make sure that students all across Florida, would have a clear understanding of what resources was available to them and where they needed to go to get help."

Spearheaded by Jones, House Bill 229 now requires each school district to review its anti-bullying and harassment policy every three years.

Jones says, "They are required to make sure that young people between 7-12 grade now understand what teen violence is, what resources are available and how they can get in contact with those resources."

A portion of the bill is now named after Tayler, and a signed copy was presented to her family Monday morning.

Tayler's father, Orange County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Dale Mack, spoke on his daughter's behalf, "Unfortunately, we used to view this as a setback, but now we know it was a setup for bigger and better things to come."

But the family says they're thankful to their friends, loved ones, and community for their unwavering support. 

"We still don't understand why it happened, but if by us and our family going through this can help keep someone safe, then we accept that and to God be the Glory on that."

 
 
 
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