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April 1st, 2010
05:58 AM ET

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[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Phoebe Prince, 15, who had recently moved from Ireland, committed suicide in January in Massachusetts."]

Do mean girls turn into mean women?

(CNN) – A principal is under fire as parents demand to know why something wasn't done sooner to save Phoebe Prince, a 15-year-old girl who prosecutors say was bullied to death by fellow students at her Massachusetts high school.

Our Alina Cho tracks down the principal and asks the tough questions this morning.

The movie "Mean Girls" explored the cliques and conflicts that come with high school. As we've seen in too many real-life cases, most recently in western Massachusetts, teen bullying can have tragic results. And it often involves girls hurting other girls.

Erika Holiday and Joan Rosenberg wrote the book "Mean Girls, Meaner Women." They'll join us this morning from Los Angeles to discuss teen bullying and the Phoebe Prince case.

Sound off: We want to hear from you about the bullying story. This morning we're asking do mean girls turn into mean women? What do you think? 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 (103 Responses)
  1. Tom

    Can we stick to one issue at a time. This is why our politicians get away with the things they do. We all just bounce from one problem/issue to the next without resolution. And it usually ends with somebody getting their feelings hurt; adding another issue. Have we forgotten about separation?

    April 1, 2010 at 8:49 am |
  2. Jenny

    We call them mean girls, or cliques in the wealthy suburbs. In the city they are called gangs. They belong on the sport teams they are educated and have been getting what they want since their birth. They have so called good parents with good morals (ha, ha). Wake up these gangs are everywhere and unless we stand up and start treating them the same as gangs we will never win the battle.

    April 1, 2010 at 8:48 am |
  3. Tom from Vermillion, Ohio

    @Dan, I wish you and your family a very happy Easter. I will celebrate the beauty and wonders of life on Easter. I will be trying to make a difference to everyone's own personal satisfaction.

    April 1, 2010 at 8:44 am |
  4. Dan

    @Tom, I want to wish you and your family a very happy and special Easter. Are you going to church and celebrate?

    April 1, 2010 at 8:35 am |
  5. Tom from Vermillion, Ohio

    @Dan,Re:"... abortion running wild in this country?" There seems to be an "abortion" of "thought and reason" running wild in this country. That is why we can't seem to get along. It does not have to be this way. That is why I am considering a re-write.

    April 1, 2010 at 8:31 am |
  6. Melon

    What you know Jefferson "said" in the Declaration of Independence isn't what Jefferson himself wanted to write. It was editted by the "committee". Jefferson wasn't happy with the "published" version but he had no control over it.

    Jefferson was a slave owner and gave no thought to slaves or didn't even considere them as humans.

    April 1, 2010 at 8:29 am |
  7. Dan Lafayette,IN

    My son who I took out of Chicago public schools because he had to walk trough three different gang members turf so he did not make it to school very often. We moved to Lafayette because I found a good job in the early 90's and my son was doing good in the new school until the jocks started their bs with him and his friends. The faculty did nothing to those football stars who make the school a competitive school and receive monies for their after school programs. Because my son did not live up to the standards of these jocks the school did nothing to the jocks whi started fights with my sons friends which he stood up for and got punished but the jocks received no punishment. Needless to say my son left school and got a GED and has four children teaching each one how to respect one another!

    April 1, 2010 at 8:29 am |
  8. Solomon, Knob Noster, MO

    I sympathize with the families that lost kids due to suicide. I think we as a society are quick to find a scapegoat. Instead of looking at the principals and school administrators we should be talking to those parents that raised the bullies. The school should create a learning environment, not raise our children.

    April 1, 2010 at 8:24 am |
  9. Larry Carson

    With reference to the Girl who committed suicide due to Bullying, How do we teach our young people how very wrong “Bullying” is, when it is rampant in the workplace and our real everyday world. Bullying can be and is a form of Severe Mental Cruelty.

    I know, I had a problem at work, the Sales Manager, when I asked, “Why are you Bullying me”, “why are you playing me like this”, his response was, “I like to see how you react to these things, I like making you cringe”

    Bullying reached a peak at my place of employment when at one point, one of our employees actually took a hostage and then committed suicide some 10 hours later. The Continuous Bullying drove him to the act of doing what he did, several months later the Employer posted a sign in the cafeteria, “It is not against the law to Bully People”.

    The kids and adults responsible should be held fully accountable, and Bullying should be made unlawful. There can be no good or accomplishment made, in making another human being regret he or she is alive and seek out death as a solution to their problem. Remember you don’t need bullets to kill, Words can kill as well- Sometimes “Words are more lethal than Bullets”

    April 1, 2010 at 8:23 am |
  10. Rosangelica

    "Mean girls" can be found in any school. From going to a co-ed catholic school, to an all girl highschool I strongly support that idea. Mean girls get support from each other. In order to stop them you have to break them down. But it would be better to just educate people so that these mistakes don't happen again. By mistakes I mean allowing girls to think that it is alright to be mean to other people. It's a shame that this school has not only failed to say sorry to the parents, but they did not even make a memorial for her. May her soul rest in peace and hopefully this corny mean girl business comes to an end.

    April 1, 2010 at 8:23 am |
  11. Tom from Vermillion, Ohio

    @Dan,"...biblical foundation, which will ALWAYS be true"?!?! Too many religious leaders are interpreting the Bible to satify their own interests that are not necessarility the best interest of our country as a whole.

    April 1, 2010 at 8:23 am |
  12. Dan

    @ Tom, you are absolutely correct. Look at our Declaration of Independence. Thomas Jefferson said "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness". How can one have Liberty and the pursuit of happiness with abortion running wild in this country?
    People interpreting to fit their agendas.

    April 1, 2010 at 8:19 am |
  13. Al

    Mean girls definetely grow up to be meaner women. I work with one and she has all the attributes of a mean past. And it has gotten worst but she is not as public about it as when she was a girl. She still thinks she is better than everyone else and puts people down all the time.

    April 1, 2010 at 8:19 am |
  14. Julie Price

    I have a friend who is employed by our local school system. We have had many discussions about student aggression in the classroom. This tradegy is becoming an all too common occurence. In thinking outside the box I am concerned about the position these students will take in our society. They maybe caregivers in your local hospital, or managing my retirement fund or caring for our babies in a daycare setting. I for one would not want them near my loved ones.

    April 1, 2010 at 8:19 am |
  15. Melon

    Tony Perkins is wrong.

    Giving money to those politicians that best represents your values means nothing. Once a politician gets elected and goes to Washington they tend to do what they want to best line their own pockets- not what the people that elected them want.

    April 1, 2010 at 8:19 am |
  16. Taser Comment

    You ask how a man can tazer a 74 YO women and your implication was that the deputy has done something wrong? Clearly, you have never served in uniform. When an officer is on the side of the road dealing with a citizen and he or she is refusing a lawful order and attempting to re-enter their vehicle they are a threat. Is she going for a gun, a knife? Is she going to get out of a ticket by simply refusing to be issued one.? What if everyone did that...what kind of society would we have? Before you judge maybe you should look at it through the eyes of a reasonable officer on the scene instead of arm chair quarterbacking good cops.! Had the deputy physically restrained her as opposed to tazed her you'd be calling him a brut and question why he didn't use a more hands-off approach like his tazer. Get a clue!

    April 1, 2010 at 8:17 am |
  17. mike-sey

    interesting that today's news featured a big Texas Cop tasing a 5-foot Grandma and being cleared of improper conduct. And you wonder where bullying begins ?

    Bullying is deeply imbedded in the way Americans conduct themselves in their everyday lives – Just listen to your preachers berating the congregations, your radio talk show hosts, watch your favourite TV shows, Dawg the Bounty Hunter, Repo guys,:
    Hell bullying is absorbed with kids mother's milk. Think about it.

    April 1, 2010 at 8:16 am |
  18. Barbara Metzler

    The tax on soda will send more people to diet soda which is far more dangerous than regular soda. Diet soda, sweetened with aspartame, also know as Equal, NutraSweet, was causing my daughter to go blind and have epileptic-type seizures. It also harmed her cognitive functioning. And, I truly believe that this artificial sweetener is what is, in great part, causing so much depression and suicide in kids and adults!

    April 1, 2010 at 8:15 am |
  19. Rita

    Realy "Dan" the constitution was written by a group of men who didn't see themselves as members of the same religion. There were Puritians and Calvinests from New England, Quakers from Pennsylvania, Anglicans from the Southern states and most of the key figures like Jefferson were Diests. Do you have any idea what it means to be a diest? They think that the universe is a project, that God built like a giant clockwork, and then walked away.

    April 1, 2010 at 8:14 am |
  20. john forde

    i do not feel the principal should quit he did nothin wrong when i moved to canada from the westindies at 7 years old i was bullied by white kids for years i never shot the school up and i am alive at 35 years old to tell the storie that girl had problems before those kids picked on her also i do not feel the kids should face criminal charges life is not easy at all so people should have a backbone

    April 1, 2010 at 8:10 am |
  21. Tom from Vermillion, Ohio

    @Dan, I believe that people are interpreting the US constitution to satisfy their own agendas, not to the contentment of all as a whole.

    April 1, 2010 at 8:10 am |
  22. mike

    Yes the story is tragic,but the fact is bulling takes place for adults as well.We cannot depend on others to stop it.If parents take responsability and instiil strength and confidence in their children,this will enable them to have problem solving skills all their life.

    April 1, 2010 at 8:09 am |
  23. Dan Lafayette,IN

    Kiran, I think that the faculty members should be fired and held legally responsible for not acting at the start of the bullying, our children should feel safe in school and it is up to the faculty to keep them safe but as for the punks who physically harmed this girl they should be punished to the fullest extent of the law and the parents of these bullies pay restitution to the girls parents then parents would teach their children to respect other children! Also the bullies should be suspended on their first offense and expelled on their second offense this would keep it out of the schools!

    April 1, 2010 at 8:09 am |
  24. Keith

    I want to know what the parents of these children taught them about how to treat other people. I agree that the administration shares some blame. But the parents taught these future monsters to do this to this child

    April 1, 2010 at 8:07 am |
  25. B

    I was a bully growing up. I turned it around in High School and am a successful professional with a young child.
    My parents raised me in a strict household and I think my bullying behaviour was my outlet, getting attention, being known and just something to do. I don't think I would have pushed as hard as this group did but I did ruin quite a few days for some of my classmates before I changed. Since hearing phoebeKs story I have been trying to recall what turned me around but I can't put my finger on it. Maybe just simple maturity...

    April 1, 2010 at 8:07 am |
  26. nileya nettles

    Females can become mean women from these experiences. It is very much possible. It produces a change of rapid behavior in some cases from positive to negative thinking. They constantly have to defend themselves. Where as, If one is bullied on a regular basis, one could eventually feel the need to fire back in some manner from those who invent unwanted hate crimes against them. It forces them to have this constant wall builded up, which limits their connections with some people and one feels the need to protect themselves as much as one can. Some basically want to be left alone, but because of jealousy it may not go away. So they try to handle it the best way they can to stop it. Something needs to be done about these attacks. It is humanly unfair to the victim by any means.

    April 1, 2010 at 8:05 am |
  27. Robert Olson

    Do mean girls grow up to be mean women?

    In my opinion the development of children no matter the sex, starts at home. Times are different today compared to years ago, the family meal has gone to the wayside. That 1 meal a day together can make a huge difference in family communication.

    As we grow we become who we are through choices. If an individual wants to; they can become anybody they want by simply making choices.

    God bless all of our Soldiers keeping us safe and fighting for our freedom. They made a choice for us please do not forget them.

    April 1, 2010 at 8:04 am |
  28. Adaire Thompson

    Our son is going to be 24 yrs old in June 2010. He has his own health insurance through his job. With the new laws, we can put him back on our health insurance policy until he is 26 yrs old. Does this man that when he is 26 years old, exactly, he has to obtain his own health insurance again? Will his company be forced to allow him to purchase health insurance again on that day, even though it is not "open enrollment" for his company? Can we add him immediately even though it is not "open enrollment" during my husband's company? Companies allow you to purchase health insurance if you've had a "life changing event". Is this Health Care Reform considered a "Life changing event"?

    April 1, 2010 at 7:59 am |
  29. Tom from Vermillion, Ohio

    Does anyone know anyone who actually "likes" to pay taxes?

    April 1, 2010 at 7:58 am |
  30. Melon

    Kids drinking soda don't make them fat and unhealthy. Video games and lack of execise do.

    April 1, 2010 at 7:58 am |
  31. Dan

    Tom, why rewrite the constitution? Because the constitution is based on a biblical foundation, which will ALWAYS be true.
    Is it because our country has lost these values and is such an immoral country?

    April 1, 2010 at 7:55 am |
  32. Melon

    Be prepared to have many new taxes levied against you for all sorts of everyday things to help cover the cost of the health care program and other Democratic give away programs..

    Remember the tanning tax CNN reported on last week?

    April 1, 2010 at 7:53 am |
  33. Rita

    Mean, ignorant people with low self esteam will pick on others, no mater what their age. We call it bullying when kids do it to eachother. When adults do it to children its abuse. When adults do it to eachother its asult and harrassment. We brush it off when kids do it but its the same behavior. The problem is that young people don't have enough life experience to get them through the experience undamaged.

    April 1, 2010 at 7:46 am |
  34. Karen from SC

    It doesn't help with some of the shows on cable where the girls are mean. Maybe that's what they are trying to be. But I wonder how come the administration let the bullying go on for years. I think the principal should resign, since he apparently didn't care about the students that were being bullied.

    April 1, 2010 at 7:45 am |
  35. sy

    I wonder where Susan Candiete sure I have misspelled her last name came up with the Michigan militia was getting ready to kill Muslims? Irresponsible of her to say on National TV without any backing. It turns out they all had or have quite different agenda. Find her reporting as a muslim living in Michigan nothing more than enticement and an avenue to creat a story out of nothing.

    April 1, 2010 at 7:44 am |
  36. Tom from Vermillion, Ohio

    Looks like its time to consider a re-write of the US Constitution towards 21st century standards and ideals.

    April 1, 2010 at 7:42 am |
  37. Anne Grimm

    I was bulled 40 yrs ago in high school and I came out fine. I had good support from my parents

    April 1, 2010 at 7:41 am |
  38. JohnathanNR

    People treating people with Kindness and respect there in no class in school for that ?????

    April 1, 2010 at 7:37 am |
  39. Tom

    Taxing soda? Just because our "leaders" can justify or rationalize new taxes – its still a new tax. The "new found money" never makes it to where it is supposed to go or help the people it is designed to help. When did we decide to punish via taxation. How is the cigarette tax working? In SC they are using cigarette money to fix roads???
    Would fat people put a greater burden on roads than smokers? Iguess it would take a million dollar study to count discarded cigarette buts v. added axle weight by fat people.

    April 1, 2010 at 7:36 am |
  40. Joseph Daniel Brian Lawlor

    Mean have no freaking idea as to the fullness of their mean disposition. Guy gets mad and has his male friends join him for a fight..does not call the girls for that fight does he.

    Now a girl will call her friends and she and her friends will agitate the minds activating the males who like lap dogs quick to serve. Don't mess with the girls and you can take that to the back. Very jealous creatures they are.

    April 1, 2010 at 7:33 am |
  41. Melon

    Kids that are bullies learn that behavior from their parents either because their parents act that way or parents that fail to raise their children with the morals and standards to allow them to fit into society without being a problem. The same goes for the "victims" of bullies. Parents also need to raise their children not to be victims.

    To the person spewing about prosecuting the boys that "raped" this child. It wasn't rape. It was STATUETORY rape. BIG DIFFERENCE. Which means she was a willing player. Apparently this played a major part as to why she was "bullied". Maybe if the parents instilled a set of morals in their child that having sex @ 15 was wrong that the bullying may never have happened.

    April 1, 2010 at 7:31 am |
  42. matt

    sometimes bullying takes place due to a lak of hope hmm and can be dangerouse to gamble with someones life there are other reasons too! poor kid she may have not recieved the lending hand and support she needed to not pay attention to this level of shame and unconfidence in the bully teachers are limited in what they can do each case is different have peace and respect correct answers come from eachother you have to learn

    April 1, 2010 at 7:27 am |
  43. John

    Yes mean kids will most likly become mean adults. These children must be dealt with but more importantly there is a bigger problem when children kill them self over SCHOOL issues.I have two daughter the same age and I would know if there was a bullying problem in school because I would not stop till it stopped. I am charged with the safty of my children and I do not trust the schools today to protect them.With that said parents lets raise our children to be respectful and kind adults...... And my heart gos out the the family of this young girl .

    April 1, 2010 at 7:25 am |
  44. Abby

    The principal and superintendent should be terminated and the teachers involved should be put on disciplinary leave without pay until there are new policies an procedures in place. It is time to make bullying a thing of the past. There should be very strict rules enacted against this unacceptable behavior with strong consequences to those that participate. It is time to end the "snitch" fear and time to enact rewards for those that "turn in" these social outcasts that do not conform to the acceptable treatment of others. No longer should teens have to deal with the awkwardness of going through this tormenting and shame at a time in their lives when they are supposed to be growing mentally and physically. We all need to pay attention to what is going on with the children and parents especially need to pay attention to clues that their kids may be experiencing difficulty at school. Be proactive and deal directly with the school principals and guidance counselors. Be an advocate for your child. Don't be afraid to speak up and demand that these children have a safe and supportive place to go to each day to learn and thrive so that they will become successful and confident members of a productive society.

    April 1, 2010 at 7:25 am |
  45. Steve Smith

    When are parents and schools administrators and teachers going to learn that bullying is NOT "kids will be kids?" I am 58 and was bullied all the way through public school. I was even bullied by overbearing, self-interested managers in the workplace as recently as 1993 but, because nobody could or would understand the damage it does, I found myself leaving a good job for one that was less than desirable.

    It is not a matter of "ignore them and they will go away" – they won't, they just get worse. It is not a matter of "stand up to them and make them stop;' they don't and they force the situation into a confrontation that, somehow, ends up making the bully look like the offended party.

    Bullying is as much of an assault on a person as any other injury or harassment. If sexual harassment is a crime, so should bullying - whether it is in the classroom, by teachers; in the hall or on the schoolyard, by peers, online, or in the workplace. It is HARASSMENT, pure and simple and causes decline in grades, decline in self esteem, suicide and, in the workplace, decline in productivity, morale and teamwork.

    Call it what it is and stop thinking it will go away – IT WON'T. The bulliers only get more bold because they get away with it.

    April 1, 2010 at 7:25 am |
  46. Tom from Vermillion, Ohio

    I don't see "corporate executive" on the list.

    April 1, 2010 at 7:23 am |
  47. Jamie

    kiran... You make bad news look great !

    April 1, 2010 at 7:22 am |
  48. Sarah

    This is a tragic story, but Alina Cho went too far. If the media was being asked to stay off the premises at the high school, you had a responsibility to respect their wishes. CNN, you're above these kinds of paparazzi tactics.

    April 1, 2010 at 7:21 am |
  49. Teresa Price

    Why should these bullies think what they are doing is wrong and they are not accountable? Parents are always making excuses for poor behavior and not modeling strong character. Look at our athletes who are so easily forgiven for terrible crimes against others but forgiven because of their talent. How sad for our society.
    This goes to show parents must have a good repoire with their children. Did this poor young woman need to be removed from the situation by her parents and moved to another school? Did they have an open relationship so that the parents could seek appropriate medical help for her depression. Parents need to talk to their kids.
    I am sure that in hind site many of the teachers and peers relize now that the bits and pieces of bullying they saw were significant. My heart goes out to these parents.

    April 1, 2010 at 7:21 am |
  50. Rita

    To those calling for prayer as a solution to bullying, I was was picked on durring my school days for not being religious. In 7th grade I was slapped accross the face in the middle of the lunch room, for believing in evolution. Christian "values" do not preclude children being crule to those who are different.

    April 1, 2010 at 7:18 am |
  51. Mrs. J. Thompson

    I've got questions I am hoping CNN knows the answers to with regard to the new laws on student loans:
    1) My son graduated from Arizona State Univ. in May 2009. He took out loans his last 2 years of college, and we took out loans his first two years of college...As far as forgiving the remainder of the loan after 20 years... does that apply retroactively to students that have huge loans and have just graduated? What about all the Parent Plus Loans that we had to take out? Just curious...

    April 1, 2010 at 7:14 am |
  52. Lu

    I am mystified at how some people do not understand how bullying can lead to suicide. Self-esteem. We all have basic needs as human beings and one of those basic needs is to feel loved. These are not the the mandatory needs for survival, but are certainly necessary for one's mental health. Being constantly bombarded with negativity, both in school and out of school without any positive reinforcement from those that are supposed to be supportive of you leads to a critical change in one's view of their self and eventually perpetuates into a person believing these view points. This leads to depression and a very low sense of worth and ultimately the suggestion "why don't you just kill yourself" starts to sound like an option. Being bullied is the cruelest form of peer interaction and should be dealt with in the strictest means possible. Some people just don't get it when there are rules laid down against certain moral behaviors and not only expulsion from school or a workplace environment, but criminal prosecution should be the penalty for this unacceptable treatment of other human beings.

    April 1, 2010 at 7:14 am |
  53. Tom from Vermillion, Ohio

    How do you think "bullies" come about?

    April 1, 2010 at 7:13 am |
  54. Dan

    Well, let's take prayer out of school; let's remove the 10 commandments from public places; Even though this nation was founded by our founding fathers on Christian beliefs (READ THE CONSTITUTION), let's not allow scripture reading in school any longer; let's allow abortion to run rampant; let's allow gay marraige to get out of control (both, by the way, will one day be judged by the almighty). You can all say what you want, but ONE DAY.
    No wonder this is happening. WAKE UP AMERICA!!

    April 1, 2010 at 7:11 am |
  55. Tom from Vermillion, Ohio

    We need to find a way to stop producing "bullies" in our society.

    April 1, 2010 at 7:11 am |
  56. Chris

    This is so unfortunate. This is not right. The school principal should resign, how could he not see something like this coming?

    April 1, 2010 at 7:10 am |
  57. Mrs. J. Thompson

    My on was horribly bullied because he saved pepsi NDC Codes, and got himself a leather jacket (that had metal pepsi buttons on it -BIG DEAL!). He was tripped, spit on, punched, etc. He finally couldn't take it anymore, and when a gang cornered him in the gym and were going to pick a fight with him, he swung back. He was a straight A student. We complained to the teacher's and principal, and they suspended HIM ALSO due to this confrontation, despite the fact that we and he had complained for 8 months about bullying to them. The principal said my son should have been able to hold his temper. I bullied the principal for 45 seconds, and w/i that amount of time I got him to get so angry he was yelling and threatening my husband and me – I then told him my point was made...I got him to lose it by testing his skills by harrassing him only mentally for 45 seconds. How could he expect a child not to react when the child had been harrassed both PHYSICALLY and MENTALLY for 8 months, constantly asking for help from the staff and principal? The principal reacted after 45 son reacted after 8 months. The principal and staff still upheld my son's suspension. Hummm.....could it have been because my husband was President of the school board, and it was a year where the administration and staff did not get the raises they wanted, when the district could not afford them? We actually were told that one teacher said "Don't pick him to help you with something, he's the Pres. of the Board's son". So, bullying isn't just kids towards can also be school staff and administration towards kids!!! My son was extremely depressed for years!

    April 1, 2010 at 7:10 am |
  58. Gary

    We just went through this situation(bullying) here in Kentucky with my son. A late night text to him threatening to beat him because he stopped to talk to another boy's girlfriend while riding his motorcycle after school. I was awakened by my son who showing his mother the text. I replied to the text as his father and told the young man I would see him at school with the school administrators and what he just did was illeagal. I called the school in the morning and spoke with the principal. Although it did not happen on school grounds, I was concerned it would carry over to the school, she supported my concerns, spoke with the child, the girlfriend and called the parents. I also stated I was considering to get law enforcement involved, possible having the boy arresred. Doing so I think I gained everyones attention. A couple days later I received a phone call from the boys mother, who then brought child to our home to aplogize .The boy and I spoke (more me than him) for about 15 minutes. Hopefully a lesson was learned here. I was grateful for the support from the principal and the mother. Although this problem may solved here, this time, I do not think our schools do enough to head this problem on.

    April 1, 2010 at 7:09 am |
  59. Thomas Krul

    Since the staff and principal cannot make decisions concering the conflicts ocurring at the school, I suggest we make some decisions for them.

    1) School student meeting going over the rules that govern them

    2) New staff that can make decisions brought in

    3) Exiting staff..NO Severence pay, NO retirement, None!!

    4) New staff inforcing the rules

    5) Proper enforcement of existing rules...

    April 1, 2010 at 7:07 am |
  60. Deb

    Love Jeanne Mose reports. But to clarify- my brother Greg Marshall actually developed the Crittercam in his apartment in Arlington VA many years ago and now works with National Geographic . I always feel like he should get SOME credit!

    April 1, 2010 at 7:05 am |
  61. Kay

    After listening to all the "experts", the most basic and bottom line has not been discussed.
    No one has even mentioned the responsibility of the parents? Parents of bullies should be taken to task by schools.
    We have become a superficial world worrying about clothes, makeup, and flaky movie stars. Their is also a lack of sports in schools where competition would be played out on the fields or courts. P.E and the Arts have disappeared. What else is there for these children to do?
    More cameras should be installed in these schools and real security guards should be manning the whole school, watching out especially for this kind of behavior and who will put a little fear into these kids. Make them understand that bullying or fighting will not be tolerable. We need to stop worrying about girls displaced anger, etc., and get back to basics. Discipline, Sports and Arts.... are the most basic fundamental needs of children. Hellloooo!!!
    I grew in another country and this is how it worked....

    April 1, 2010 at 7:05 am |
  62. Makensy Similhomme from NJ

    Yes, mean girls turn into mean women because " we are the product of our childhood"

    April 1, 2010 at 7:04 am |
  63. Nicole from Maryland

    You ask if mean girls become mean women, and I believe most of the time they do as they were brought up thinking that by bullying others was a means to reaching the top as we all know bullying goes on after high school and continues in the work force.
    As for the students being charged, yes they should do their time but I also think in any case of bullying the parents, teachers, and principles that were aware of the problem and did nothing are even more responsible because it is up to them as adults to set an example.

    April 1, 2010 at 7:02 am |
  64. linda scott

    i was a divorced mom about 18 years. i taught my son and daughter that although "you are intelligent, talented and beautiful kids, you could be in a car wreck or other and be disfigured and how would you feel if you were picked on?" "do not bully other kids or you will be punished."

    as far as i know they did not bully. i do know of instances where they defended kids who were being bullied.

    parents, take time and talk with your kids. teach them. and don't think your kids can do no wrong.

    April 1, 2010 at 7:02 am |
  65. Rita

    The key is to stop treating children like chattle to be controled, and recognize them as people. Hang out with some professional educaters, and hear them describe middle school students as wild animals that should be shipped to a fenced in preserve until they grow out of the crazy hormone faze. Schools that let the students develop their own bullying policies have done quite well.

    April 1, 2010 at 7:02 am |
  66. Ryan

    Mean girls don't "turn into" meaner women; they are meaner women. More often that not, just as catty wives and women in general play off of one another, so, too, do high school girls. The only difference between these mean girls and meaner women is the age. Other than that, people rarely change.

    April 1, 2010 at 7:01 am |
  67. Lajune

    I think that bulling is a part of kids life in school and out of school. Literatly stated that parents needs to pay attention to what going on with their child. Although myself personally Im a mom and dont think that these parents should suffer for what happen to there child. Also I think instead of prosecuting these kids also charges should brought against the school because they was well aware of what that happen but toke it upon theirselves not to take action. And by sayin that young child was suffering and miserable and thought it wasnt no way out. Her parents should have relocated her amd put her in some kind of school were she could relate with other kids. My 11 year old just got chooked by 18 year senior on the school and the bus driver didnt report it to school officials but I went to the authorities and filed a compliant. These kids do have feelings they can only take so much if school officials dont start taking these kids serious they will retaliate.

    April 1, 2010 at 7:01 am |

    Its the parents duty to notice changes in a childs behavior true. But school officials are afraid of the school bullies i have seen it my self at my daughters school. The kids use profanity like their at a bar. Teachers hear it and look the other way. My heart goes out to this young girl I feel bad but her parents should have told her to come to them. Fire the Principle

    April 1, 2010 at 7:01 am |
  69. Natalie

    I do believe mean girls often do grow up to be meaner women. I have noticed in the workplace how younger women ( 20's – 30's)- stereotypically those trying to make a name for themselves- are over the top aggressive. It is SO sad that they seem to think in order to be taken seriously they have to be mean.
    Mean people come in every age, shape, color, class and both sexes! But in repsonse to this question I have noticed a trend.
    And yes – I must add stereotypes just like archetypes are not absolute, and make us uncomfortable,but they are too often connected to truth.

    April 1, 2010 at 7:01 am |
  70. Susan from Muskegon

    How can we expect kids today to respect each other when adults act the way they do. I think all people should be responsible for their actions starting from the top down. Look at the anger in our government. People calling each other terrible names and fighting. What kind of example are they setting. Absolutely no RESPECT. We need to start right now and make an example of all the people involved in that young girls death and hold them accountable and be charged accordingly.

    April 1, 2010 at 7:00 am |
  71. Paul Shepherd

    Kieran –

    Since John pulled a April Fools joke on you, shouldn't you ensure his car only runs with a dove and two ducks in the back seat.....

    April 1, 2010 at 6:58 am |
  72. Jesse From Canada

    Young Girls Today Are Being Exposed To So Much In Movies And TV, That I Think If Someone Doesn't Show These Girls What Is Right And Wrong, That Yes, They Will Continue On This Path And Become Mean Women.

    Ps. John, Your Fly Is Down!

    April 1, 2010 at 6:58 am |
  73. Claudia

    Is there a way to promote the need for Americans to contribute to other Americans who face catastrophic ruin due to the flooding in the east – similar to what was done for the people of Haiti. Particularly in this economic environment when many of these people may be unemployed – and particularly for now displaced families with children.

    April 1, 2010 at 6:55 am |
  74. Paul Shepherd

    Parents are pointing fingers but the reality of this issue starts with home...let's not forget that a parents duty is to parent; this includes ensuring their child has a way to pour out their feelings and problems with the knwoing that mom and dad will protect them.

    April 1, 2010 at 6:54 am |
  75. Dan Simons

    You are just missing it all. I don't think any of you have a clue. Why is violence so normal? It is acceptable by you, you constantly make excuses for it. Oh, they are only 12 yrs old, so what! 12 year olds are not innocent as they were 10-15 years ago, they know how to pull the trigger.
    What are the money making movies, TV shows, video games? The ones that are most violent.
    WAKE UP!! It's not love that makes the world go round but, violence that makes the show, news or ad policy successful.

    April 1, 2010 at 6:54 am |
  76. Nan in Memphis

    Bullying during adolescence has probably been around since the beginning of time. I remember being the victim of school bullies, namely the "mean girls" (which in my high school in Arkansas also meant the "popular girls"). That was 30 years ago, and I just had my class reunion last fall.

    It was very interesting, I must say. Most of the "mean girls" have turned into very mature women, who owned up to their behavior and apologized profusely for it. There were a few, however, that haven't changed one bit since 1979 - but they now are ridiculous, and everyone knows it. Time is a great equalizer, isn't it?

    It's the psychological damage of bullying that is long-lasting - and girls are MUCH meaner than boys when it comes to that element of intimidation and torture. I don't know what the answer is - maybe it's just a rite of passage for all of us to either be the bully or be the victim, or sometimes both. But I do know this: it's much more dangerous for a bully these days. Back "in the day", we (the victims) would have never acted on retaliatory urges. Nowadays? Not so much - kids seem to snap quicker, and the bullies might find themselves in life-threatening situations because of their bullying tactics.

    April 1, 2010 at 6:53 am |
  77. Tracy

    Parents, school and communities need to look for mean girl bullying not only in high schools but now in elementary schools.

    I see this type of bullying in my own third grade classroom. Our school (and myself) have a zero tolerance for bullying but it still occurs even after one on one talks, bullying classes and other methods of teaching these girls how to deal with each other.

    There is so many influences on girls these days that show them that it is ok to be mean. It is heartbreaking to know that some of these girls do not get the support they need to deal with this problem. We can only do so much in the school setting, this type of education needs to start at home, BEFORE they ever come to school.

    April 1, 2010 at 6:51 am |
  78. S'Nai

    I was very sadden bye this story , I'm 25 and i can remember how high school was and how kids treated others for no reason at all. Bullies are people who have no self steam of there own and want to be liked bye others so much that they pick on people who are quiet and know they won't stand up for them selfs . People make comments like (words should not of made her do that to herself) but really and truly you can never understand what a person is or has gone through , in there mind they have been pushed so far into this dark place they can't get there self outta it.My heart goes out to her family but instead of worrying of what will happen they need to have self esteam programs at the school you will be surprised how many kids show up after this .

    April 1, 2010 at 6:51 am |
  79. Makensy Similhomme

    Yes, mean girls turn into mean women because " we are the product of our childhood "

    April 1, 2010 at 6:51 am |
  80. William

    I believe mean girls possess certain qualities that can be used for either good or evil as women. Yes, as a teenager, their lives are very much one-sided, and they tend not to see past their immediate wants and needs. But as women, once they see how much more complex their existance is in regards to others, they either learn to use their manipulative tactics to benefit others or allow their malevoelnt behaviors to become unhappy adults.

    April 1, 2010 at 6:50 am |
  81. Adam

    I live in South Hadley and have two boys in the system. I believe the top administrators (principal and superintendent) should resign, the staff members who observed the bullying (but did nothing) should be fired, the teenagers who participated in the bullying be publicly humiliated and expelled and the boys who raped the girl should go to jail.

    April 1, 2010 at 6:50 am |
  82. scott

    you are only scratching the surface on this issue, "mean girls" = meaner woman.....what about "mean " adults in general on the internet. Check out ANY chat room, any comments section on ANY
    news article or story and you will see so much hatred spewed that it is scary. The ananimity of the internet does breed intense response that wouldn't happen in face to face conversations, and it ALWAYS gets out of control.

    April 1, 2010 at 6:49 am |
  83. Ellis from DC

    Define mean.

    People are products of their environment. "Mean" people come from unhealthy environments, whether they be mental, physical or both.
    To rectify these issues, simply change the environment. As a society, we have the asinine belief that putting people in more unhealthy environments like prison, that it will make them more civil.

    ~ Most of Michael Vicks dogs were eventually adopted by "loving" families.

    April 1, 2010 at 6:48 am |
  84. Melon

    A bill to prevent tax refunds from being being mailed out late??? What a extremely stupid idea. There shouldn't be any tax refunds for anybody at anytime. When the Government is raising taxes on everybody tax refunds are the last thing that should be going on. The whole tax system is in shambles and needs to be scrapped.

    April 1, 2010 at 6:47 am |
  85. Kelly

    Thank you to the authors for mentioning that the parents have some responsibility. Today the school's are being held more and more responsible and the parents and students seem to be completely blameless. Just this week "The Onion" referenced this scary attitude in their article "Increasing Number Of Parents Opting To Have Children School-Homed." The article concludes with the realistic.. "increasingly overburdened public schools have recently led to a steady upswing in the number of students being prison-homed." WAKE UP AMERICA!!

    April 1, 2010 at 6:46 am |
  86. Matt E

    Well, have you seen any episodes of the fantastic piece of television programming called "Real Housewives of [insert high rent district USA here]"? Can't you imagine any/all of these women as high school "mean girls"? Nuff said. Some people just can't feel good about themselves unless it is at the expense of others – no matter what their age.

    April 1, 2010 at 6:43 am |
  87. paul

    How could you tell if mean girls grow up to be mean women?

    Kids that grow up feeling entitled or kids that grow up getting special privilages probably end up as adults that feel entitled.

    it's a parenting issue, not the responsibility of the nanny state.

    April 1, 2010 at 6:42 am |
  88. Antoinette Burchfield

    I am 67 years old and have been around elementary and high schools since my oldest child was enrolled. That is over 40 years ago. I have never seen as many changes in students as during the last few years. I live in a small community in Western North Carolina of around 7,000 people, so it is quite easy to know what's going on. Bullying is one of the most scary things a student could go through! I have personally experienced it through my grandson. We took him out of one school and enrolled him in another one. It actually happened to him again, and the signs were there that something was wrong. We kept asking him if everything was okay and he would always say yes.However, it wasn't. But one day, out of the blue he came home to tell us that "I handled my situation." Believe it or not he did. He went straight to the principal and the student was dismissed. We later found out that this student had bullied in other schools he haf attended. My grandson is fixing to start college this Fall. He remained in this school until graduation, gained lots of friends, and excelled in sports! You simply have to be very involved in your children and grandchildren's daily activities and believe me, they will thank you later. In the kind of world we live in today, you have no choice but to stay very close to your c hildren/grandchildren! There is nothing more precious!!!

    April 1, 2010 at 6:40 am |
  89. Jamie

    Hey John... You have odd colored socks on and your tie is on backwards. April fools !

    April 1, 2010 at 6:40 am |
  90. daniel

    bully is problem in our schools. we all need stand up and be good parents and be involve more in their liveS!!!! kids are our future!!!

    April 1, 2010 at 6:39 am |
  91. Bob from Houston

    Kieran –

    I plan to pull a prank on someone before he gets out of bed this morninhg. Whatever April fools day joke John pulled on you, I know you can top; it ain't over till its over.

    April 1, 2010 at 6:26 am |
  92. Dr. Mitch Varlso

    Bullying is a trend that is growing very quickly and the consequences are getting worse with each incident. The principles, bus drivers and teachers cannot be held 100% accountable though, you must consider the Parent(s) who also didn't do anything for their children in relation to understanding what goes on in their child's day to day activities; the fault lies with many people, but mostly the parents. This issue is much larger than people are giving it recognition for also. The world is losing touch with our young people, families are spending less time together, teachers have become less interactive with students and community leaders are less involved on what really matters, (i.e. police officers, mayors, doctors, congressmen, The President of the US, etc.). This results in more trauma and dramatic negative situations such as this issue with this 15 year old girl. We must realize that we need to become more aware of our children's needs and day-to-day activities. How dare the parents point a finger at teachers or principle’s when they don’t even know all their teachers names and what their grades are in each class......pathetic....parents acting.....this is just sad. If they would get involved with their child, these negative issues would no longer exist. Their children would have a voice, and if someone has a voice they know is being heard and acted upon, the stress levels go down tremendously.

    April 1, 2010 at 6:21 am |
  93. Allen in St. Louis

    Correction, anyone from the superintendent on down needs to be FIRED.

    April 1, 2010 at 6:19 am |
  94. Gregory Archbold

    I was furious when I found out yesterday that my 3rd grade daughter was punched in the face by a much larger 5th grader. I live out of state for military reasons. My wife goes to pick up my daughter to find out that the principal and vice principal had no idea of what was going on.. My wife goes to the office and the pricipal tells her to hold wife decides to to go and speak with my daughters teacher directly, when she returns, the office secratary told her that the principal went on vacation. You can imagine the look and attitude of my wife. The vice principal finaly shows back up and says he is now been briefed and says he will handle it. My wife asks how and the vice principal said he couldn't tell her. My wife was furious, she asks for the girls lastname who punched my daughter and again she was told he could not give her that information. She goes to the police station to file a report, police say nothing they can do to take it up with the school board. Wife furious(had to take off from work during all of this since I am not there) takes my daughter home. Gets a call from the vice principal and he says they will take care of it, again my wife asks how...what do you think the vice principal guessed it I can't tell you that. So we have no idea the name of the person who assaulted my daughter, or will she receive any punishment, and my daughter has to go to a school this morning and I am scared that she will not be protected...Please help!!!!

    April 1, 2010 at 6:18 am |
  95. Melon

    As tragic as this story is it hardly warrants getting all the coverage it is receiving.

    April 1, 2010 at 6:15 am |
  96. Allen in St. Louis

    Anyone above the superintendent needs to be fired. The fact that no one said anything till the week before she killed herself in inexcusable.

    April 1, 2010 at 6:14 am |
  97. Jamie

    Bullies are bad and I know it can be very tough on kids but killing yourself over being called a name or because someone knocks the books out of your hands is just outrageous. Whatever happened to the saying sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me? Parents need to really communicate with their children a lot More. If your child is getting bullied to the point of wanting to kill themselves then your not communicating very well with your child. The parents are looking to blame when maybe they should have a better look at themselves. P.s. John, next time you come back up to Canada, take kiran with you and come to calgary. We ll do drinks.

    April 1, 2010 at 6:12 am |
  98. daniel

    this big problem!! we need allow pray back in schools. parents let kids go wild and don't teach them respect other people!!! GOD bless american!!

    April 1, 2010 at 6:11 am |
  99. Zachary

    I Think the administrators should treat all the Kids like there own family and Young adults, and young kids need to be Stronger and let elders know. When I was in grade school we all learned about sexual harrasment & Bullying with the teachers.

    April 1, 2010 at 6:06 am |
  100. steven ragsdale

    I wrote you yesterday,in regards to this story. my belief is that all the students should be charged as' adults' and out in prison. the officals at the school should be fired, and civil suits-filed against the school, the individual parents, and school officals.this is a state and federal 'hate crime charge'

    April 1, 2010 at 6:04 am |
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