MASS – Phoebe Prince was a young girl who emigrated from Ireland to America last fall. Months later, on Jan 14th, the 15 year old was found dead after she had hung herself in her Massachusetts home. Only after this gruesome death has the truth about how she was treated as a high school freshmen begin to come out. On a Facebook page made in her honor, her family was surprised to see rude and even taunting comments posted about her. Classmates also started to admit that Phoebe was being harassed and “bullied constantly” via text messages and Facebook posts. The school admits they were aware, to an extent, that Phoebe was having problems; in a letter to the parents, the South Hadley High principle wrote “These disagreements centered on relationship and dating issues. School personnel immediately intervened . . . and both counseled and provided consequences as the situations required. It is what happened after those incidents were over that is cause for significant concern.’’ Perhaps Phoebe’s sad suicide and the attention it’s getting can prevent other teens from the same fate – but are schools prepared to deal with cyber bullying? Is it even within the scope of their responsibility?
Tags: Cyber-bullying, Harassment, Massachusetts, Suicide
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