Sunday, January 31, 2010

Phoebe Prince, an Irish teenager

This story might make you feel sad. I think it's the sort of story that we must read. What can we do to deal with this awful problem?
"Like a lot of kids her age, Phoebe Prince was a swan, always beautiful and sometimes awkward."
That's how Kevin Cullen begins to report on a truly heart wrenching event - the result of school bullying.

"Last fall, (Phoebe) she moved from Ireland into western Massachusetts, a new town, a new high school, a new country, a new culture. She was 15, when all that matters is being liked and wearing the right clothes and just fitting in. She was a freshman and she had a brief fling with a senior, a football player, and for this she became the target of the Mean Girls, who decided then and there that Phoebe didn’t know her place and that Phoebe would pay.

Kids can be mean, but the Mean Girls took it to another level, according to students and parents. They followed Phoebe around, calling her a slut. When they wanted to be more specific, they called her an Irish slut.

Ten days ago, Phoebe was walking home from school when one of the Mean Girls drove by in a car. An insult and an energy drink can came flying out the car window in Phoebe’s direction.

Phoebe kept walking, past the abuse, past the can, past the white picket fence, into her house. Then she walked into a closet and hanged herself. Her 12-year-old sister found her.

You would think this would give the bullies who hounded Phoebe some pause. Instead, they went on Facebook and mocked her in death.

They told State Police detectives they did nothing wrong, had nothing to do with Phoebe killing herself.

And then they went right back to school and started badmouthing Phoebe.....the Mean Girls who tortured Phoebe remain in school, defiant, unscathed.

Last week, Phoebe was supposed to visit Ireland, where she grew up, and she was excited because she was going to see her father for the first time in months.

She did end up going back to Ireland after all, and when her father saw her she was in a casket."

CLICK HERE to read the poignant, thought provoking report.

Kevin Cullen is a Globe columnist. He can be reached at
© Copyright 2010 Globe Newspaper Company.

1 comment:

tomjacobs59 said...

Teens can learn about the consequences of cyberbullying from the newly published "Teen Cyberbullying Investigated" by Free Spirit Publishing. It presents real life stories of kids in trouble at home, school and with the law over their online and cell phone activities. Education and awareness will help curb this epidemic. Take a look at TCI.
Judge Tom.