Phoebe Prince

Phoebe Nora Mary Prince ( Bedford , 24 of November of 1994 in January – South Hadley , 14 of January of 2010 ) was an adolescent coming from County Clare in Ireland , who moved to South Hadley, Massachusetts. It became known in the US after suicide because of suffering for months a constant bullying (bullying) by their classmates. His death brought more stringent changes to anti-bullying laws in the United States. In March 2010, after his death, anti- bullying was declared in Massachusetts law, which was passed into law on May 3, 2010. 2


Prince was born in Bedford (England) and moved to the community of Fanore 3 in County Clare (Ireland), when he was 2 years old. 4 He emigrated to the United States in 2009 with his mother and four brothers. His mother lived in Boston for some years. They reportedly chose South Hadley (Massachusetts) due to the presence of several relatives, including an aunt, Elaine Moore. 6 7 His British father remained in Lisdoonvarna (Clare County). 8 Prince attended South Hadley High School at the time of his death at age 15, January 2010.

Incidents of school bullying and suicide

Having recently moved to the United States from Ireland, Prince had been harassed and intimidated for several months by at least two different groups of students at South Hadley High School , due to fights with other girls for a brief relationship with a football student of the last Year and another boy. His aunt alleged that he had warned the school in August 2009, before writing down Prince as a student, that they should be monitored because he was “susceptible” to bullying and had already happened to him in Ireland. 7

On January 14, 2010, after a full day of harassment and taunting, followed by a final incident in which a student threw a can from a car while walking home from school, Prince committed suicide by hanging himself in the Staircase leading to the second floor of the family apartment. Her body was discovered by her 12-year-old sister. After his death, many insulting comments were made on Facebook’s memorial page , most of which were deleted. Her parents decided to bury her in Ireland.

A meeting held at the school to discuss the harassment problem ended with parents reporting that their children’s situation was completely ignored by the school administration. As a result of this incident, Massachusetts lawmakers stepped up efforts to pass an anti-aging law 9 10 11 12 and the bill became law on May 3, 2010. 2 Inspired by Massachusetts law, similar legislation was introduced In the State of New York . 13 The “Phoebe Act” has been proposed to promote legislation at the national level. 14 In July 2010, a committee at South Hadley School adopted a more comprehensive anti-bullying policy. fifteen

Criminal case

On March 29, 2010, Northwestern District Attorney Elizabeth Scheibel announced at a press conference 16 that nine teenagers from South Hadley High School were prosecuted as adults charged with felony counts by the Grand Jury of Hampshire County. The charges ranged from juvenile rape by the two male adolescents involved (both considered adults under Massachusetts law) to civil rights violations, criminal harassment, alteration of a school assembly, and harassment. Additional charges were also filed against the three minor women accused by the Grand Jury. 17

18 One of them was accused of deadly weapon assault for throwing a can at Phoebe Prince. A separate criminal complaint was filed against one of the three minor women for assault and battery against another victim at South Hadley High School (a girl who was attacked at school after appearing on a television news report describing harassment Which happened at South Hadley High School). 19 At least four of the six adolescents continued to attend classes when the charges were announced. 20 21 20 22 23 24

In his statement, Scheibel directly contradicted previous claims of Superintendent Gus Sayer that school officials had not been warned of harassment at school:

Contrary to previously published reports, the harassment suffered by Phoebe was well known to most students at South Hadley High School. Investigation has revealed that certain staff and high school administrators had also been alerted to Phoebe Prince’s harassment prior to her death. Prior to this, her mother spoke to at least two school staff about the harassment that Phoebe had notified her.

Some of those present, including at least four students and two teachers, intervened while the harassment was occurring or reported to administrators. A lack of understanding of harassment associated with adolescent relationships appears to have prevailed at South Hadley High School. That, in turn, brought an inconsistent interpretation in the application of the school code of conduct when incidents were observed and reported.

In reviewing this investigation, we have considered whether actions or omissions by South Hadley teachers, staff, and administrators of individual schools or collectively were criminal or non-criminal behavior. In our opinion, this was not the case. However, the actions or inactions of some adults in school are problematic. 25 26

Scheibel indicated that the investigation was continuing and that further allegations against other South Hadley students students likely were likely. He urged school authorities to adopt anti-bullying measures and conduct training programs for staff and students and expressed the wish of the Prince family to refrain from vigilantism and to seek justice only through the criminal justice system. 22 “Now is not the time for retribution or reprisal,” Scheibel said. 27

Two days later the district attorney held a press conference in which school superintendent Gus Sayer again denied that school administrators had ignored Prince’s harassment. 28 29 School officials made a statement saying that they had “taken disciplinary action with a small additional group of students and that they had been expelled from secondary school”. 30 However, the school statement was unclear as to whether any of the defendants were actually expelled. At least one report said that all the defendants were still in school. 31

Three of the defendants pleaded not guilty through their attorneys to the Hampshire Supreme Court on April 6, 2010. Three others, under Massachusetts law (under age 17), pleaded not guilty to criminal charges April 8, 2010 at the Franklin-Hampshire Juvenile Court in Hadley, Massachusetts. The three younger teenage girls were also charged as juvenile offenders in adult felony counts. 32 33 The six defendants waived their right to appear in court and did not appear in their reading hearings. They were all ordered to be away from Prince’s family. 21 33 34

Early media reports stating that there were nine teenagers charged were incorrect and was due to Scheibel’s sequential list of the Grand Jury and Juvenile Court at the press conference. The confusion came because Scheibel did not release the names of the accused for juvenile delinquency by the confidentiality laws. However, it was subsequently confirmed that only six adolescents were guilty. 35 36 37

On Prince’s suicide day, three of the defendants – including the football player who had previously had a relationship with Prince – were allegedly involved in Prince’s persistent harassment and taunts at the school, library and paraninfo of the school. One of the defendants followed Prince from school in a friend’s car and threw an empty can of an energizing drink at him while shouting and insulting him. 3. 4

Copies of court documents with full details of the case against the three teenagers were posted on the CNN website. 38


  1. Back to top↑ «Newsvine – School Bullying and Cyberbullying Suicide Connection» . February 9, 2010 . Accessed March 30, 2010 .
  2. ↑ Jump to:a b Bierman, Noah (May 4, 2010). “With the family of the deceased at his side, the governor signs legislation .” The Boston Globe . Retrieved on May 11, 2010 .
  3. Back to top↑ Crimaldi, Laura (2010): “In Ireland suffer from Phoebe Prince ‘ , article in the Boston Herald (Boston).
  4. Back to top↑ Stephanie Reitz. “9 accused in the case of a teenager of Mass. Who committed suicide due to bullying .” Google com. The Associated Press. Archived from the original on April 1, 2010 . Accessed March 30, 2010 .
  5. Back to top↑ Drew, April (2010): “Phoebe Prince remembered by her Irish and American friends” , article in English on the Irish Central website.
  6. Back to top^ Caldwell, Christopher: “The boys are not well,” article on the FT website.
  7. ↑ Jump to:a b Kelly, Dara (2010): “The aunt warned the school that Phoebe Prince was intimidated in Ireland,” an article posted on the Irish Central website.
  8. Back to top↑ Contrada, Fred (2010): “The story of Phoebe Prince’s harassment leaves County Clare hesitant to argue about it,”article of April 2010 on the Masslive website.
  9. Back to top↑ Cullen, Kevin (January 24, 2010). “The Untouchables Average Girls” . The Boston Globe ( . Accessed March 30, 2010 .
  10. Back to top↑ «Teen suicide promotes fight against harassment» . The Boston Globe . January 24, 2010 . Accessed March 30, 2010 .
  11. Back to top↑ Constantine, Sandra (January 27, 2010). “Due to the suicide of Phoebe Prince, hundreds are meeting to discuss the issue of instigation in schools .” The Republican . Accessed March 30, 2010 .
  12. Back to top↑ Vaznis, James (January 26, 2010). “Lawmakers at Beacon Hill urgently see the need for anti-school law .” The Boston Globe ( . Accessed March 30, 2010 .
  13. Back to top↑ Dunphy, Mark (May 11, 2010). “Phoebe Prince’s death inspires anti-bullying law in New York .” The Clare Herald . Retrieved on May 11, 2010 .
  14. Back to top↑ “The suicide of the Irish teenager Phoebe Prince promotes a massive indignation in the United States . Belfast Telegraph . April 19, 2010 . Accessed April 19, 2010 .
  15. Back to top↑ «South Hadley. The school accepts anti-crisis policy . New England Cable News Network. July 1, 2010 . Consulted on July 2, 2010 .
  16. Back to top↑ “Nine teenagers and three youths indicted in Phoebe Prince’s relentless student harassment , video with details of the statement; Published on the website Necn.
  17. Back to top↑ “The Grand Jury blames 9 students for Phoebe Prince’s bullying case , ” article of March 29, 2010 in the daily .
  18. Back to top↑ «Prosecutor: 9 teens charged in bullying that led to girl’s suicide» , article (in English) of March 30, 2010 in the”Prosecutor: nine teens charged with bullying. Website CNN (Atlanta).
  19. Back to top↑ «Teenagers leave S. Hadley HS after bullying» , news video where the girl was interviewed by a journalist; Was identified as a student at South Hadley High School in the video and was subsequently reported to have been beaten at school for speaking in public. This second violent incident of bullying is described in the reference “Adolescents charged with harassment at school” , posted on the CBS Springfield website.
  20. ↑ Jump to:a b Campbell, Matthew. “Adolescents accused of harassment in the School” . CBS 3 Springfield – News and Weather for Western Massachusetts | Local News (CBS 3 Springfield) . Accessed March 30, 2010 .
  21. ↑ Jump to:a b Reitz, Stephanie: “Three girls in the bullying case in Massachusetts are found not guilty,” article posted on the Google website.
  22. ↑ Jump to:a b James Vaznis (March 29, 2010). “9 accused in the death of the South Hadley teenager, who took her own life after being harassed in school .” The Boston Globe . Archived from the original on November 28, 2015 . Accessed March 30, 2010 .
  23. Back to top↑ “Northwest District Attorney announces allegations of death by bullying . WGGB News . March 29, 2010 . Accessed March 30, 2010 .
  24. Back to top↑ CNN Wire Staff (March 29, 2010). “Prosecutor: 9 teenagers accused of bullying that led to suicide .” . Accessed March 30, 2010 .
  25. Back to top↑ “Statement of Northwest District Attorney Elizabeth D. Scheibel . Boston Herald . March 30, 2010 . Accessed March 30, 2010 .
  26. Back to top↑ Crimaldi, Laura (March 30, 2010). “DA: The school knew of the brutal harassment of Phoebe Prince -» . Boston Herald . Accessed March 30, 2010 .
  27. Back to top↑ Saulmon, Greg: “South Hadley Police Chief David J. LaBrie awaits threats against those alleged to have harassed Phoebe Prince”
  28. Back to top↑ Constantine, Sandra: “South Hadley superintendent Gus Sayer said the findings are consistent with school research,” article of April 2010 posted on the Masslive website.
  29. Back to top↑ “South Hadley School Officials Speak Clearly,” article posted on the website Necn.
  30. Back to top↑ Szaniszlo, Marie and Van Sack, Jessica: “At least two expelled by the death of Phoebe Prince.”
  31. Back to top↑ “The director of South Hadley High School defends his actions” , article published in the website Necn.
  32. Back to top↑ “Case of deadly school bullying” , article (in English) of April 7, 2010 on the website Necn.
  33. ↑ Jump to:a b Hershel, Ray: “Three other teenagers face charges in the case of Phoebe Prince,” article on the WGGB website.
  34. ↑ Jump to:a b Walsh, Nate: “Court documents detail Phoebe Prince harassment ” , article on the WGGB website (United States). Note: Additional information appears in the video of this news site. The comment that you threw a bottle is incorrect, as the video of the court document clearly shows that it was an empty can of Monster Drink.
  35. Back to top↑ Singer, Stephen (2010): “3 declared not guilty in the case of Massachusetts harassment,” article of April 11, 2010 on the Google website.
  36. Back to top↑ Constantine, Sandra E. (2010): “Details of bullying” , article published on the website Masslive.
  37. Back to top↑ Eckholm, Erik; And Zezima, Katie (2010): “Documents detail the last days of a girl’s harassment , ” article of April 9, 2010 in the New York Times .
  38. Back to top↑ O’Neill (2010): “Court presentation reveals teen angst in its last hours,” article of April 9, 2010 on the CNN website.