A Massachusetts district attorney recently filed charges against nine students for allegedly bullying Phoebe Prince to the point that she committed suicide. Prosecution of such cases are rare.
Michael S.Gordon/AP/The Republican
Criminal charges are being filed against nine Massachusetts teenagers accused of harassing the 15-year-old Irish immigrant to the point that she committed suicide.
The teens subjected Phoebe, who was a freshman at South Hadley High School, “to relentless activity ... designed to humiliate her and to make it impossible for her to remain at school,” Northwestern District Attorney Elizabeth Scheibel said this week.
The case should prompt more communities to develop a comprehensive range of preventive measures and consequences – from encouraging bystanders to come forward to training adults how to respond, experts say.
“Today in American schools, these kind of abusive behaviors between teenagers have become so frequent that many adults look upon them now as normal," says Ms. Englander. "Cases like this cause everybody to step back and say, ‘Wait ... Is this something that really has to happen, or is it something we should be correcting?’ ”