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March 31st, 2010
11:00 AM ET

More students expelled, 9 charged in bullying case

(CNN) – There are new developments today surrounding the death of 15-year-old Phoebe Prince. Prosecutors say the Massachusetts teen was bullied so relentlessly that she eventually took her own life.

The Boston Herald is reporting two more of Prince's accused classmates have been expelled. In all, nine students at South Hadley High School have been charged. Prosecutors say the clique attacked Prince for three months, both online and in-person. Our Alina Cho has the latest from South Hadley, Massachusetts.

Filed under: Crime
soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. Jim Newton

    I appreciate the attention being given to the problem of bullying, but it seems to miss an important point – WHY do seemingly normal kids turn to bullying?
    Until we get to the resons kids turn to bullying, I don't believe we'll ever find a way to stop it.
    You would do the country a great service if you could find an expert who can explain the "WHYS". Then maybe we can find a way to stop it before it beginsd.
    Thanks for whatever you can come up with!

    April 4, 2010 at 8:50 am |
  2. XPower

    bullying or no bullying laws everything has a limit, and to still to torture someone at school after school, even on web to the limit that one commits a suicide thats one things that needs to be considered whoknows God forbid tomorrow it'll be one of your kid trying to attemt for a suicide. than what......

    One should ask the family of Phoebe Prince of how they are managing and what they are going through now after they found their dear one hanging.....

    April 2, 2010 at 1:35 am |
  3. MaryV

    If these abuses took place in real life, outside of school, the students would be brought up on assault and battery charges – at least. Why is it okay to allow harassment and stalking in a school but not on the street? It reminds me of a time when it was okay to hit your wife but you would be arrested for slugging a guy in a bar.

    April 1, 2010 at 9:50 am |
  4. Elena

    When I got up this morning and saw this on the news I couldn't believe it... actually I could. I am 16 and attend school in Ontario, and I was bullied just a couple months ago. It was aweful. Constant teasing, mean looks, shouting names at me in the cafeteria, and looks that could freeze hell. After a while I finally did something about it and the admin took it into their hands. I'm the kind of person who was raised to deal with problems in an upfront way so when these girls wouldn't say why they were mad and kept bullying me that's when I knew it wasn't going to get better. And when we were gathered into the vice principals room the truth to their madness came out and it was for the most dumbess thing ever.

    People don't understand the impact teasing and more has on people unless you've gone through it.

    I hope those girls who bullied Phoebe Prince rot.


    April 1, 2010 at 7:00 am |
  5. Stephanie

    As a child, I was bullied too in elementary school and junior high. I always thought that there was something wrong with me – that I did something to make those kids pick on me. My brother was also victimized.

    Back then, teachers were able to get more involved and to tell kids to stop picking on others, etc. if they saw anything going on. Now there's the fear of the almighty lawsuit from the "not my child" parents. My father and a few others had confronted the parents of the ring leaders and that's pretty much the attitude that they had with their little darlings. It helped to a point in the neighborhood but when you had to stand at the bus stop, get on the bus and then spend the whole school day with the bullies and their peons, it was hell. It wasn't until I found a group of kids outside of the neighborhood while in junior high and then high school that I realized that some people did actually like me for me and I felt shielded.

    Do you know what it's like to look forward to a rainy day so you didn't have to go outside and find someone to play with?

    Kids grow up under a lot of peer pressure. Even if they know what they do is wrong, many times they follow along or don't say anything (snitch) so they don't get picked on. The bullies do it because of the power trip they feel and they build themselves up. They are the ones that are insecure and need people to reaffirm their value. To this day I wish that they all ended up in jail.

    March 31, 2010 at 9:00 pm |
  6. mike-sey

    What seems to be missing from all the talk so far is any discussion of how deeply Bullying is imbedded in normal everyday American life.
    Sooner or later you'll come up against it in business, in the office, from customers and bosses, in encounters with the police and on talk radio where the host will berate you and then cut you off the air and berate you some more even if you do know what you are talking about.

    March 31, 2010 at 12:42 pm |
  7. Roofwork

    This has been a problem for a long time.When it was minorities,it was considered gang violence,when these kids joined gangs for safety they thought these kids were lost,now this white kid get's killed and it is a travesty?What does it take to understand that it is an all around problem and racism and hatred on every issue fro religion to social climbing is the problem and has always been.

    March 31, 2010 at 12:35 pm |
  8. Patricia, Boston, MA

    A beautiful young girl, moves from Ireland with her parents and enters and American high school. America, the "land of the free and the brave," but finds out that for her, it is anything but free or brave. It is terrifying.

    Like many of you, I have been thinking about “the why.” There have always been bullies in schools, but the complex matrix of "bullying" vehicles today makes bullying easier and more dangerous. Face to face bullying has always been around. However, now with Facebook, Twitter, texting, video, and all the other public, anonymous applications, you can abuse anonymously from the privacy of your own cave.

    However, I see a few other things that have contributed to this culture of bullying beyond technology and social media. Families move more often and families are much smaller than in the past. In past generations there have been larger families who had multiple children in the same school. They connected with other large families in the school. When I was in school there were three large families (mine being one of them) and we all had one or more members of the other families in our class. These families were born in the community, their parents knew each other, and they stayed for a lifetime. The "tribe" protected those less able to protect themselves. The kids protected the kids. Parents were rarely involved. There was a social and family fabric that was more tightly meshed than the “cliques” in the school.

    Now families and far smaller and families move constantly for many reasons. The only "tribes" that are created are the "cliques" within the schools. And, when the clique decides to bully, then there is no countervailing tribe to protect the vulnerable.

    I don’t know how to create “tribes” within schools today that would serve the purpose that larger families and tighter communities served in the past, but I would suggest that it be given some thought. Throwing kids in jail will fix one group of kids—their lives will be ruined and they deserve it for this set of crimes, but it won’t help the next child and the next.

    March 31, 2010 at 11:44 am |