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March 30th, 2010
05:56 AM ET

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[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Phoebe Prince, who had recently moved from Ireland, committed suicide on January 14 in Northhampton, Massachusetts."]

Teens indicted in alleged bullying death

(CNN) – Nine Massachusetts teenagers have been charged with involvement in a months-long campaign of bullying that led to the suicide in January of a 15-year-old girl, a prosecutor said Monday.

Phoebe Prince's body was found hanging in the stairway leading to her family's second-floor apartment in South Hadley, Northwestern District Attorney Elizabeth D. Scheibel told reporters in the western Massachusetts town of Northampton.

"It appears that Phoebe's death on January 14 followed a torturous day for her when she was subjected to verbal harassment and physical abuse," she said.

Earlier in the day, Prince had been harassed as she studied in the library at South Hadley High School, apparently in the presence of a faculty member and several students, none of whom reported it until after the death, Scheibel said. FULL STORY

California Republican returning RNC money after racy club visit

(CNN) – A California-based political consultant who charged the Republican National Committee nearly $2,000 for a night out at Voyeur – a risque West Hollywood nightclub now at center of the latest controversy surrounding RNC chairman Michael Steele – will return the money to the party, a committee spokesman told CNN Monday.

Erik Brown, president of the Orange County-based Dynamic Marketing, Inc., was re-imbursed in February for $1,946.25 worth of charges at the nightclub, according to the RNC's latest filing with the Federal Election Commission. FULL STORY

Sound off: Join the conversation on today's top stories. Add your comments to the LIVE blog below and we'll read some of them on the show.

Filed under: LIVE Blog • Top Stories
soundoff (143 Responses)
  1. American Morning

    Thanks for the comments everyone. See you tomorrow!

    March 30, 2010 at 9:07 am |
  2. Autumn Meadows exaggerate..the punishment you are talking about does not fit the crime. The kids are being made an example of so that it stems other kids from that behavior. I bet you are for capital punishment..which is done for the exact same reason. Many people here are NOT saying she does not own (SOME) of the responsibility for making the ultimate decision to end her life. However she paid the ULTIMATE matter WHOS fault it was. End the end we lost a very wonderful and precious life.

    March 30, 2010 at 9:04 am |
  3. Melon

    Speaking the truth is wrong to you Tom?.... You apparently haven't learned in the real world.

    March 30, 2010 at 9:04 am |
  4. Dan Lafayette,IN

    You are a sick person Melon!

    March 30, 2010 at 9:03 am |
  5. DK

    So when does the part come when Steele calls for his own resignation? He seems to do it for everyone else; Sen. Reid's comment about Pres. Obama, his new website demanding "Fire Pelosi!"–all this guy has done as RNC chair is write a book, fly off to Hawaii and give the most asinine interviews about working for the people while spending donor dollars to strut around a beach wearing a lei and a Hawaiian shirt–and now this comes out. And let's not act like this is the only thing money was spent on. Honestly, I haven't cared for Michael Steele since his days as Lieutenant Governor of Maryland, but with all these gaffes, I'm surprised he didn't call for the immediate resignation of the RNC chair before realizing his own name was next to the title.

    March 30, 2010 at 9:02 am |
  6. Melon

    Let's put all the teachers involved in prison.... all the kids involved in prison ... the dead girls parents in prison for not being involved enough .... the local police should be put in prison for not doing their job .... but lets not put any blame on the child that committed suide.

    March 30, 2010 at 8:58 am |
  7. Tyler T.

    @ Andrew. Are you serious? So because nine students chose to make life hell for one girl who apparently did nothing to provoke them her parents should be forced to move HER to a different school? No, at the very least the students responsible for bullying in the first place should be expelled. Once they have had to move schools a few times perhaps they will think twice! If this girl was "mentally unstable" it is likely only because adults like you that have laxidasical views on the very real psychological trauma that can be caused by the cruelty seen in cases like this allow it to continue to happen.

    March 30, 2010 at 8:56 am |
  8. Cathy

    Having recently spent several years in western Mass, being from Colorado, I can say the locals are not the nicest to outsiders. The moment I received a job offer to relocate I jumped at it.

    March 30, 2010 at 8:54 am |
  9. Tom from Vermillion, Ohio

    @layla, I wasn't trying to be hilarious, but thank you...After looking at Phoebe Prince's picture above, I couldn't help but wondering what WE have lost. In my opinion, if the world entirely made up of people who have been hurt in the past, all the hurting that going on now around us would somehow go away on its own. Too much cruelty in the world. And yes words do hurt. Melon has help to demonstrate this today. We now see him for what he really is. Now, lets go to work on Rus Limbaug, Glen Beck, O'Reilly, Hanity, Palin, et know all the "rightious" types and see if we can make a difference.

    March 30, 2010 at 8:52 am |
  10. Dan Lafayette,IN

    Exactly Melon, these punks should be held responsible for their actions as well as their parents because they did not teach their children how to respect others!

    March 30, 2010 at 8:51 am |
  11. Mark

    The deficit is suddenly news to you!?! I remember when Christine Roman reported on the Stimulus Bill and completed diregarded opposition arguments that it would increase the deficit without creating jobs. She simply regurgitated the Democratic talking points, and guess what? And speaking of changing Entitlement programs, isn't Healthcare Reform creating ANOTHER entitlement? The media continues it's attempts to minimize and demonize the Tea Party movement, but it is simply a reflection of the growing anxiety and frustration in middle America about the growth of government and, imagine this, the exploding deficit!

    March 30, 2010 at 8:50 am |
  12. Jessica

    Used to, bullying lasted from 8 to 3, or however long the school day was. Now with texting and email and Facebook, it never ends. It's disgusting.

    What I find truly sad here, is that these kids let this girl consume them. How flattering is it that someone's world revolves around YOU? They are wasting precious moments of their life that they'll never get back on YOU. I was bullied severely in high school, and that's how I looked at it. I used to look at them in the face and THANK THEM. I think that someone has a serious problem if they think about this person all the time. That's why they were charged with stalking.

    But none of this is going to bring this poor girl back. I hope she has finally found the peace she so deserves.

    March 30, 2010 at 8:47 am |
  13. Melon

    Naw... only to people that fail to be responsible for their kids and/or their own actions.

    March 30, 2010 at 8:45 am |
  14. Terry in Toronto

    I've been following "A soldiers Story." Are you telling me that CNN followed Will McLean around with a camera all these months and you couldn't buy his mother a ticket to attend his graduation? What kind of nonsense it that? Shame on you.
    Terry in Toronto

    March 30, 2010 at 8:45 am |
  15. Ibrahim Nur

    Ooh this is so sad, and am sorry for her, and her family too.
    But if i killed myself, where will i go. I am a muslim, And it's prohibited
    to kill myself. Thnks to God, I am a muslim.

    March 30, 2010 at 8:44 am |
  16. Autumn Meadows

    @Melon to just about everything that comes from what you type..LOL

    March 30, 2010 at 8:39 am |
  17. Ol'Gee

    I personally think parents should start getting more involved with what their children are doing, be it in school or at home. Unfortunately almost every parent think their kids are angels who wouldn't be involved in such heinous acts.
    I also feel more American parents are afraid of being hated by their children so they tend to back off and give the children all the space they need.
    It doesn't matter whether parents love their children or not, they must sure the kids know the consequences of their actions, and stop sheltering them even when they are in the wrong.

    March 30, 2010 at 8:39 am |
  18. Melon

    Wrong answer to WHAT?

    March 30, 2010 at 8:35 am |
  19. darlene

    my daughter was a victim incessant bullying all the way back in elementary school in junction city, ks. we let her drop out at 16 because of depreesio and suicidal. and she's not alone. school officials knew about this and did little or nothing about it. kids doing the bullying need to be kicked out. these kids that did this to this poor girl are murderers and need to be put in an adult prison where they can get some of their own medicine. they are old enough to know right from wrong.

    March 30, 2010 at 8:34 am |
  20. Autumn Meadows

    @Arlis if you would have said Christian I would have agreed with you. However they are following Gods examples not Jesus Christs example..the old testiment God which Christian take a little too seriously even though the new testiment is suppose to trump it. In the old testiment God is wrathful, vengeful and jealous and he has no problem with genicide of the human race(the great flood), killing of children (1rst born of Egypt) or smiting those who do not obey his commandments ( spilling of seed). I can see where these wacknuts picked up this idealogy. These type of people cherry pick out the part where Jesus asked for compassion, tolerance and unconditional love and go right toward the brutal god wrath part. See how many references in the bible of God killing humans sometimes for ridiculous reasons.
    again these are quoted directly from the King James Bible itself

    March 30, 2010 at 8:33 am |
  21. Bill from Rotonda West Florida

    The health care bill is not saving anyone anything aside from the Federal government. It is simply passing all those charges on to the consumer in a very structured way. No one is looking at the real costs of health care resulting from inefficientcies in the health care system. No one has explained to me why a toothbrush has to cost hundreds of dollars. It seems to me that they are actually preventing any reasonable discussion on the ACTUAL costs of health care.

    March 30, 2010 at 8:31 am |
  22. Eric

    RNC pays for GOP stripshow at LA stripclub! I know the Republican party payed to watch their people be BRAINLESS, I didn't know they also paid to watch people be TOPLESS!?!

    March 30, 2010 at 8:30 am |
  23. layla

    First off Tom from Ohio you are hilarious! comment... this poor girl got tortured because these kids thought they were cool and ganged up on her....well look whats happening now.. everything happens for a reason and those 9 students should be expelled get jail time and have to live with her death for the rest of their lives. These students will always be remembered as the people that drove this poor girl to her death. Yes it was her decision to commit it but it was the 9 students that made it unbearable for her. RIP sweetheart.

    March 30, 2010 at 8:29 am |
  24. Dan Lafayette,IN

    Melon, my father committed suicide because of his mental state but I know he lives today because of his faith in Christ!

    March 30, 2010 at 8:29 am |
  25. Russ Pierce

    Sad story. Even sadder is the community response. Remember the lesson – let he who has not sinned cast the first stone.

    Every one of us has at some point in our lives suffered injustice at the hands of a bully, more importantly each of us has at some point in our lives been unkind to others. We did not live Phoebe's life, nor do we do not know all of her story.

    The actions of the accused bullies were certainly unjust and most probably contributed to the sadness in Phoebe's life. However in this quest for justice for Phoebe the state must indite everyone responsible for sadness in her life not just the accused bullies. This is clearly not a reasonable objective if justice is the goal.

    I would hope that the application of more misery to a miserable situation would be avoided rather than sought.

    March 30, 2010 at 8:27 am |
  26. mike-sey

    I grew up in a system where bullying was frowned on, yet commonly practiced by some students and their cliques and some teachers.

    One thing I learned was that standing up for the unpopular (bullied ) kid rarely found any support. Most kids either turned away out of fear of becoming targets of the bullies themselves, or joined in with harassers.

    I also learned that if you were able to pull it off a swift couple of punches in the nose would often send the bullies running home to mummy who would then call the school and you'd be punished. But the satisfaction was worth it. And you weren't troubled again.

    Mind you that was in the days when bullying occurred 1 or 2 on 1. Now you are dealing with whole groups who probably won't hesitate to pull a knife. I'm sure the NRA has a preferred solution.

    March 30, 2010 at 8:26 am |
  27. Brad J

    if they are going to charge these kids with the death of this student they are going to have to charge every other kid that contributed to a classmates suicide all across the country. sounds kind of outlandish in my mind. THIS IS NOT NEWS!!!! If you guys need some help picking a good story to cover let me know.

    March 30, 2010 at 8:24 am |
  28. Joseph Daniel brian Lawlor

    "@David, Ron, Melon – John and Kiran just read your comments on the show. Keep up the good discussion everyone. We'll read some more comments in the 8 a.m hour" .=Melon +good discussion= wrong answer American Morning= journalists should speak properly. David..thanks for your personal insight. Ron..your right as well..David+Ron=good discussion=right answer American Morning..

    March 30, 2010 at 8:23 am |
  29. Andrew

    Forget this idea of the teachers and the administrators being responsible, what about the girls parents. Were they just blind to the whole situation. If the parents cared for there children they would have caught this behavior and could have acted. Also, suicide shouldn't be something that students reach out to without prior mental unsability. If a person is of a clear mind then a school switch should be thought of. If the parents care and love their daughter they would move or transfer her.

    March 30, 2010 at 8:22 am |
  30. Stella

    Mark from Florida: I agree with you, but just to clarify, Voyeur isn't a strip club, it's a nightclub. I've been there, it's fun. The issue is not where he was, but whose money he spent.

    March 30, 2010 at 8:21 am |
  31. Tyler T.

    All the kids involved in this poor girl's death are a microcosm representing a culture of intolerance that permeates American life today. They should be punished to the fullest extent and sent to prison where they can find out from truly hardened criminals what real "bullying" is all about.

    March 30, 2010 at 8:19 am |
  32. Melon


    March 30, 2010 at 8:18 am |
  33. arlis

    the militia group said they believe in god, but yet they were planning on killing people. how does that work?

    March 30, 2010 at 8:17 am |
  34. James B.

    I can't believe that this young girl took her life and no one cares, this is why I home school my daughter. This country should wake up and relize that we have let our children run wild and it's the parents to blame. If this is how our kids act, then they will be worst as adults

    March 30, 2010 at 8:16 am |
  35. Melon

    That is the problem with America today. Nobody is responsible for the own actions. It's always someone elses fault. Sure she was bullied in school. Most kids are – to one degree or another. But suicide as the best option? I don't beleive that.

    March 30, 2010 at 8:15 am |
  36. Travis Atlanta, GA

    Bullying is a real issue. When I was in middle school, I was bullied almost on a daily basis. I had my clothes stolen, lunch taken, money stolen as well as being pushed around in the gym locker room. I went to school in terror on a daily basis.
    Who of thought that the son of an Army drill sergeant would get pushed around. The school administration chalked it up as boys will be boys, my parents came to school and wouldn't allow them to right it off. It was a double edged sword; 1 edge I knew my parents had my back, the other edge I got teased even more for having my mom and dad come to the school for my defense.
    Children can be mean and hateful. They don't think past the present. The bullying stopped after I came back to school my 8th grade year at 6'1" after growing 5 inches over the summer.
    Adults have to support those that a being bullied because another child cannot reassure them.

    March 30, 2010 at 8:14 am |
  37. Brad J

    I feel bad for the family but don't worry about kids being bullied at school. It's a part of life. If every kid killed them self's after being picked on via myspace/facebook, schools would be empty. Administrators have more important things to worry about, like weapons and drugs. In my opinion students need to learn how to deal with their current problems.

    March 30, 2010 at 8:14 am |
  38. Autumn Meadows

    @melon if you doubt that such severe abuse does not cause mental illness please read this information from scientific studies backed by harvard professionals

    "new neurobiological findings show that trauma – physical abuse, sexual abuse and neglect – dramatically affects both the structure and chemistry of the developing brain, thus causing the behavioral and learning problems"

    "Dr. Martin Teicher, an associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard and director of the Biopsychiatry Research Program at McLean Hospital in Belmont, has been at the forefront of this new line of research."

    "In one of the first major studies in the field published in The Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences in 1993, Teicher linked abuse to brain wave abnormalities. Reviewing the records of 115 consecutive admissions to a child and adolescent psychiatric hospital, Teicher found brain wave abnormalities in 54 percent of patients with an abuse history, but in only 27 percent of nonabused patients. And 72 percent of the patients in the sample with a history of both physical and sexual abuse had these neurological abnormalities."

    See more at

    March 30, 2010 at 8:13 am |
  39. Mark, Florida

    I AM EMBASSASED TO BE A REPUBLICAN. Our elected officials have time for getting their jollies going to a strip club. What happened to working for making this country better. Your values are DISGRACEFUL and you need to be gone. You are an discrece to yourselves and the party. I am waiting for November to VOTE YOU OUT.

    March 30, 2010 at 8:12 am |
  40. mouse

    the people that bullied this little girl should
    be punished i to am a victim to harassment at school
    back in the 70s i had a shuddering problem
    and people use to come up to me and
    say pu-pu porky whats up and i would start fighting
    and i would be the one who ended getting in trouble
    over all that

    March 30, 2010 at 8:10 am |
  41. Mark from Dublin

    When I heard this story on the radio this morning, the words that jumped out at me were Suicide and Rape, why do most of the comments here focus on the bullying aspect – what happened to this girl is way more than just schoolyard bullying, she took her life because probibaly because she felt she had no way out – remember that the American way of life, be it small town or city, is quite different to that in Ireland, especially in the rural part of Ireland that she came from. I would quesiton her parents role in this in so far as "did they offer her enough support?" given the massive change that she has gone through. From my position in Ireland, I would feel that all of the bullies should be tried in a court of law.

    March 30, 2010 at 8:10 am |
  42. Dan Lafayette,IN

    The decision she made was based on the acts of these punks which obviously you disagree, but it was as if these punks pushed her off a cliff!

    March 30, 2010 at 8:09 am |
  43. Tom from Vermillion, Ohio

    Its amazing how simple questions can have such an enormous effect.

    March 30, 2010 at 8:08 am |
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