Phoebe Prince has been back in the news in the past week. This time it is about those who abused her relentlessly before she took her life as a result of being abused at the hands of her peers. Phoebe Prince had moved from Ireland to Massachusetts and enrolled at South Hadley High School. A older boy asked her out and these abusers did not like it. So, they abused Phoebe in person, through technology and as a result, Phoebe took her own life. Her younger sister found her after she died. If this is not disturbing enough, Phoebe was mocked in death and a Facebook page was made stating that these bullies murdered Phoebe Prince. Yes, mocking her in death.
Currently nine of these bullies are facing charges such as statutory rape, violation of civil rights resulting in bodily injury, criminal harassment and disturbance of school assembly. Six of these bullies have been named publicly while three of them are juveniles and cannot be named. Three of the six pled not guilty yesterday through their lawyers in a Hampshire Superior Court and were released on their own personal recognizance on the condition that they stay away from the family of Phoebe Prince, the girl who died.
Folks, what is wrong here? So much damage has been done and many have been hurt by the actions of this group of teens who should have known better. Why are the adults at the school not held accountable? Why are these kids saying they are not guilty? Why is a parent excusing the behavior of her daughter? Grow up and take responsibility for your actions! This is one of the greatest problems in America today. We sit back, wait for a tragedy to happen and once it does, everyone runs to cover their tracks. Bad behavior is considered good and we act on it with the goal of not getting caught. A life was lost here and who is stepping up to take any responsibility? Phoebe arrived in America a healthy and well adjusted girl. These teens pushed her and she snapped. Its high time they accept responsibility for their actions.
I commend the citizens of Massachusetts for pulling efforts together and working towards a brighter future in their state. Facebook groups are being made and again, kudos! As for the bullies who are pleading not guilty, I suggest extensive psychotherapy. A clinical assessment and evaluation conducted. Their behavior is disturbing and they have proven to be a danger to society. It is easy to come online and cyber bully these teens but what would that prove? No, we need to hope that they get the help they need. Abusing them back or any vigilante justice only makes the situation worse. Lets hope justice is served to all involved and not just the teens. May Phoebe rest in peace.
Elizabeth Bennett is the Social Justice Guru seeking social justice for all. She is also the author of â€œPeer Abuse Know More! Bullying From a Psychological Perspectiveâ€Â along with the e-bookÂ â€œChild Safety Online: Top Tips to Protect your Child from Internet Predators.â€ Please visit Peer Abuse Know More! To learn more.