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9 Kids Charged after Bullied Classmate Commits Suicide

Arguably, bullying is a part of life for some kids. Tough as it is, no one expects a kid to die from bullying.

But that’s just what happened at a Massachusetts school.

In January, Phoebe Prince, 15, hung herself from a stairwell in her family home. A prosecutor claims the taunting and physical threats from nine teenagers pushed the young girl to take her own life. Another boy, 11, took his life in nearby Springfield last year after also facing fierce bullying.

In the Prince case, two boys and four girls, ages 16 to 18, face a mix of felony charges that include statutory rape, violation of civil rights with bodily injury, harassment, stalking and disturbing a school assembly, according to the New York Times. Three younger girls face charges in juvenile court.

Massachusetts is currently working on passing an anti-bullying law not unlike laws in effect in 41 other states. Some are calling for the resignation of the School Superintendent.

The state of bullying has kept up with technology, utilizing Facebook, Twitter and any social media you can name to taunt and threaten kids not just when they are at school, but at home and in front of a national audience as well. In the Prince case, prosecutors say the bullies conspired online but most of the bullying took place on school grounds.

Phoebe Prince recently moved to the US from Ireland. She had a hard time adjusting to a new country, a new school and a new life. After dating a popular senior, students schemed to bully the girl. They threw canned drinks at her, slapped items out of her hands and called her an “Irish slut.”

Phoebe’s sister came home to find the 15-year-old hanging in the family home, still wearing her school clothes.

It hurts my head and heart just typing that last sentence.

One of main factor that creates bullying is a lack of supervision and involvement from the bully’s parents, according to Education.com. That being the case, should we see these kids’ parents on trial?

One parent, whose child was bullied by one of the same girls that taunted Prince, is glad to see charges pressed.

“My daughter was bullied for three years, and we continually went to the administration and we really got no satisfaction,” Mitch Brouillard said.

Bullying was a problem for me and it culminated in the first and only fight I ever started. The mention of bullying makes my stomach sick. Though the trials and travails of early adulthood may seem trivial to us now, we mustn’t forget how intense life at that age can really be. It’s easy to shrug off bullying as an adult, but those who were once bullied remember the circumstances seemingly like life or death. In the case of two children who couldn’t live with the hate, it was death.

UPDATE:  School Quiet on Bullying Suicide

Source: New York Times

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