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Author Topic: 9 teens chgd in connection with 15 yo bullied Phoebe Prince's suicide death  (Read 12272 times)
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MuffyBee
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« on: March 29, 2010, 01:45:59 PM »

http://news.bostonherald.com/news/regional/view.bg?articleid=1243175&srvc=home&position=active
Prosecutors: 9 teens charged in Phoebe Prince death
Monday, March 29, 2010


Nine teens have been charged in connection with the Jan. 14 suicide death of bullying victim and former South Hadley High School student Phoebe Prince, inset, above, left. Northwestern District Attorney Elizabeth D. Scheibel is at right.

Nine teens, three of them juveniles, have been charged in connection with the Jan. 14 suicide death of bullying victim Phoebe Prince, with counts ranging from harassment to statutory rape.

Today’s announcement from Northwestern District Attorney Elizabeth D. Scheibel was the culmination of a two-and-a-half month criminal probe.

Prince, 15, a recent immigrant from Ireland, was reportedly found hanged in her home after enduring weeks of torment from bullies on Facebook and in the halls of South Hadley High School.
“It appears that Phoebe’s death on Jan. 14 followed a torturous day for her, in which she was subjected to verbal harassment and threatened physical abuse,” said Scheibel.

The freshman’s death ignited a firestorm in the small western Massachusetts town and demands for school Superintendent Gus Sayer to resign after he refused to explain why the bullies were not being punished several weeks after Prince’s suicide.

No school officials were charged today, but six teens were named and three juveniles were not.

Those charged today, according to the DA, include:

Sean Mulveyhill, 17, of South Hadley who is charged with statutory rape, violation of civil rights with bodily injury resulting, criminal harassment and disturbance of a school assembly.

Kayla Narey, 17, of South Hadley who is charged with violation of civil rights with bodily injury resulting, criminal harassment, disturbance of a school assembly.

Austin Renaud, 18, of Springfield who is charged with statutory rape.

Ashley Longe, 16, of South Hadley charged with violation of civil rights with bodily injury resulting as a youthful offender.

Flannery Mullins, 16, of South Hadley violation of civil rights with bodily injury resulting and stalking as a youthful offender.

Sharon Chanon Velazquez, 16, of South Hadley who is charged with violation of civil rights with bodily injury resulting and stalking as a youthful offender.

Three female juveniles, who were not named but are all from South Hadley, are also being charged with various counts from violation of civil rights, criminal harassment and assault with a dangerous weapon, which was said to be either a bottle or a can. One of the juveniles was also charged with assault and battery on a second unnamed victim.

All the accused will be served a summons to appear in court at a future date, officials said.

Prince’s death has received national attention and prompted the Legislature to act. On March 11, the Senate approved an anti-bullying bill requiring an anti-bullying curriculum and mandating school principals to report bullies to cops if there is reason to believe criminal charges should be pursued.
South Hadley officials also formed an anti-bullying task force, which meets tonight at the high school, according to the school Web site.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2010, 07:37:41 PM by MuffyBee » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2010, 01:47:40 PM »

http://www.bostonherald.com/news/regional/view.bg?articleid=1243061

Monday, March 29, 2010

The following is a timeline of events after the death of South Hadley’s Phoebe Prince.

Jan. 14: South Hadley High freshman Phoebe Prince, 15, is found dead inside her home. It is later alleged she took her own life and that she was a victim of relentless cyberbullying by classmates.

Jan. 26: South Hadley Superintendent Gus Sayer says two students have been “disciplined” in connection with bullying before Prince’s apparent suicide. Gov. Deval Patrick urges the Legislature to pass a bullying-prevention measure.
Feb. 2: Furious parents and students call for the firing of Sayer at a Board of Selectmen meeting if he can’t explain why bullies aren’t being punished.

Feb. 4: The Herald reports South Hadley High Principal Dan Smith has reached out to at least 30 teens believed to have tormented Prince or witnessed bullying. School officials say some teens are refusing to cooperate.

Feb. 17: School officials say “a number” of high school students have been suspended for bullying Prince. Sayer does not identify them or say how many are suspended.

March 11: The Senate approves an anti-bullying bill requiring an anti-bullying curriculum and mandating school principals to report bullies to cops if there is reason to believe criminal charges could be pursued.

March 29: Northwestern District Attorney Elizabeth D. Scheibel plans “significant” announcement regarding the investigation into Prince’s death.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2010, 07:38:05 PM by MuffyBee » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2010, 01:53:37 PM »

http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/teens-charged-bullying-mass-girl-kill/story?id=10231357
(Video Avail at above link)
Teens Indicted After Allegedly Taunting Girl Who Hanged Herself
Nine Teens Accused of Cyberbullying Phoebe Prince, 15.

Monday, March 29, 2010


Phoebe Prince died in an apparent suicide, after incessant bullying by classmates at the 700-student high school.
(ABC News)


Nine Massachusetts teenagers have been charged in the "unrelenting" bullying of a 15-year-old girl who killed herself in January, prosecutors said today. Two of them were charged with statutory rape.
Phoebe Prince, a recent Irish immigrant, hanged herself Jan. 14 after nearly three months of routine torment by students at South Hadley High School, via text message, and through the social networking site, Facebook.

Prince, a freshman, was reportedly harassed by older girls who resented her dating an older football player. Her death shook the town of South Hadley and prompted the Massachusetts legislature to pass a law introducing an anti-bullying curriculum in the state's public schools.

Northwestern District Attorney Elizabeth Scheibel said Prince's bullying was the result of a romantic relationship she had with one of the male suspects that ended weeks prior to her suicide.
The district attorney said school administrators knew of the bullying but none would be charged.

Prince hanged herself in her home, days after accepting an invitation to a winter school dance and only months after emigrating to the small western Massachusetts town from Ireland. Her younger sister found Prince's body in the stairwell leading to the family's second-story apartment.

Six of the teens will be indicted on charges connected to Prince's suicide. Three of the indicted students are girls, charged with violating Prince's civil rights, criminal harassment and disturbing a school assembly.

Two of the indicted students, a 17-year-old male and an 18-year-old male, will also be charged with statutory rape. Criminal complaints were filed against three other students.

Of the six indicted students, three are still students at the school and three were expelled in February.

"These students' lives have also been dramatically altered, and they won't be graduating from South Hadley High School," Principal Daniel T. Smith said at the time.
Prince Family Has Not Spoken Publicly

The Prince family has not spoken publicly about the girl's suicide. In a death notice printed in the Springfield Republican newspaper, they wrote:
Related
Parents: Cyber Hoax Led to Teen's Suicide

"What her family and friends from both sides of the Atlantic grieve is the loss of the incandescent enthusiasm of a life blossoming," the notice read. "She enjoyed life with an energy only the young possess."

« Last Edit: March 29, 2010, 07:38:39 PM by MuffyBee » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2010, 07:22:21 PM »

Phoebe Prince, South Hadley High School's 'new girl,' driven to suicide by teenage cyber bullies

BY Helen Kennedy
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
Monday, March 29th 2010, 3:58 PM


http://tinyurl.com/yc9jf96

Nine Massachusetts teenagers were indicted Monday for driving a pretty 15-year-old "new girl" from Ireland to suicide in a case that has become a symbol of high school and online bullying.

The sweeping charges - which come after months of complaints that the bullies weren't being punished - include statutory rape, violation of civil rights with bodily injury, criminal harassment and stalking.

Phoebe Prince, a new arrival at South Hadley High School from a tiny seaside hamlet in County Clare, was mercilessly tormented by a cadre of classmates later dubbed the "Mean Girls" by Massachusetts newspapers.

"The investigation revealed relentless activity directed towards Phoebe designed to humiliate her and to make it impossible for her to remain at school," said District Attorney Elizabeth Scheibel.

"The bullying for her became intolerable."

According to students, Phoebe was called "Irish slut" and "whore" on Twitter, Craigslist, Facebook and Formspring.

Her books were routinely knocked out of her hands, items were flung at her, her face was scribbled out of photographs on the school walls, and threatening text messages were sent to her cell phone.

Scheibel said she had drawn the ire of the "Mean Girls" by briefly dating a popular senior football player in her first weeks at the school.

On Jan. 14, Phoebe was harassed and threatened in the school library and in a hallway at school, Scheibel said. As she walked home, one of the "Mean Girls" drove by and threw a can of Red Bull at her.

Phoebe walked into her house and hung herself in a stairwell.

But the nastiness didn't even end there. Her tormentors actually posted snide comments on the dead girl's Facebook memorial page.

For months, community anger simmered that no punishment had befallen Phoebe's bullies. Petitions were signed and town hall meetings held.

Scheibel said her investigators were taking the time to investigate thoroughly, and slammed "the inexplicable lack of cooperation from Internet service providers, in particular Facebook and Craigslist."

Seven of the nine charged Monday are girls charged with a range of crimes, from criminal harassment to stalking to civil rights violations. A juvenile was charged with assault by means of a dangerous weapon - namely, the Red Bull can.

The two males, 17 and 18, are charged with statutory rape.

Unveiling the indictments Monday, Scheibel said numerous faculty members, staff members and administrators at South Hadley High School were aware of the bullying - some even witnessed physical abuse - and did nothing.

She said the investigation looked at whether the adults' failure to help Phoebe amounted to criminal behavior.

"In our opinion, it did not," she said. "Nevertheless, the actions or inactions of some adults at the school are troublesome."
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« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2010, 07:27:02 PM »

This reminds me of the case in Florida where a bunch of kids set up and beat that 16 year girl and repeatedly taking turns and hitting her.

I DO BLAME THE ADMINISTRATION FOR NOT HELPING THIS KID.

What a shame that a child had to go through torture like this.

Laws need to be passed to protect these kids.
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« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2010, 07:32:02 PM »

San, I hope you don't mind if I merge this with a thread for Phoebe Prince that was started earlier in "Crimes Against Children, Elderly and Disabled".   
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« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2010, 07:42:02 PM »

Thanks Muffy
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« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2010, 07:53:23 PM »

The subject title is a bit cluttered, but I felt it was important readers could see there were crimes committed against Phoebe Prince.  I don't believe for one second it was a simple case of suicide.  Yes, there are charges against the 9 teens, but like San posted, I too blame the administration for not helping Phoebe.  They need to be held accountable imo.  And yes I wholeheartedly agree, there need to be laws not only passed to protect the kids, but they must also be enforced.  JMHO
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« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2010, 08:34:42 PM »

This is so sad. What I don't understand is why the school officials are not being held responsible along with the teens. They knew what was going on and did nothing. My heart breaks for her family that left Ireland to come here for a better life for their daughter. This has to stop it's happening way to much. IMO
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« Reply #9 on: March 30, 2010, 05:47:30 PM »

Mom of teen charged with bullying South Hadley H.S. student Phoebe Prince into suicide blames victim

Tuesday, March 30th 2010, 5:17 PM
The mother of one of the "Mean Girls" charged with bullying 15-year-old Phoebe Prince to death defended her daughter Tuesday, saying she never lifted a hand against the tormented girl but just "called her names."

Angeles Chanon admitted that her daughter, Sharon Chanon Velazquez, 16, had once been suspended from school for verbally abusing Phoebe - but blamed the bullied girl for starting it.

"(Sharon) exchanged a couple of words with her," Chanon told the Boston Herald. "Phoebe was calling her names. They're teenagers. They call names."

Chanon insisted her daughter never "physically assaulted" Phoebe, no matter what the District Attorney says.

"I know she knows better than that. I wouldn't accept that," she said.

Sharon was one of nine Massachusetts teenagers charged Monday with tormenting Phoebe "relentlessly" for three months, until the despairing recent immigrant from a small Ireland village hanged herself Jan. 14.

Sharon was charged with stalking and violation of civil rights resulting in bodily injury.

In Massachusetts, public anger was turning from the Mean Girls - so mean they left vicious comments on Phoebe's Facebook memorial page - to the teachers who repeatedly failed to protect Phoebe, but were not charged criminally.

District Attorney Elizabeth Scheibel said Phoebe's persecution was "common knowledge" at the school, and even witnessed by teachers, who said nothing.

Her mother had twice asked school officials to help put a stop to her daughter's misery, Schiebel said.

The day she killed herself, a teacher saw kids harassing Phoebe in the school library - but said nothing until after the suffering girl's body was found hanging in her home.

The district attorney called the failure of adults at the school to stop the harassment "troublesome," but not criminal.

"We sought the charges that we feel were most appropriate for these activities," Scheibel said.

She said school officials had "a lack of understanding of harassment associated with teen dating relationships."

But parents were shocked that school administrators - who had denied knowing anything about Phoebe's misery - apparently knew quite a lot.

"If what they are saying is true, and the administration knew about it, then they lied. If they lied about knowing about the abuse, then they should not still be here," said Paris Morley, who has a son at South Hadley High.

Former prosecutor Wendy Murphy, who has been vocal about weaknesses in a proposed new Massachusetts anti-bullying law, said she was stunned that the DA "didn't have the guts" to charge the adults at the school.

"I'm just incredulous that this prosecutor would see fit to bring huge charges against the kids - which is good - but do nothing to the teachers. That juxtaposition is shocking," Murphy said.

Referring to the Massachusetts "public duty rule" that bars schools and teachers from being sued for what students do, Murphy said of Scheibel, "because she knows they can't be sued civilly, she had an extra responsibility to charge them criminally."

Massachusetts state Rep. John Scibak, who represents South Hadley, told ABC he was shocked at "what the adults knew and didn't act on."

"This is a very serious allegation and one that really needs to be investigated," Scibak said.

School officials did not return calls.

But assistant school superintendent Christine Sweklo issued a statement saying much of the evidence the DA presented was new to the school administration and would be reviewed.

Then, she said, the school might "possibly take further action against the students still attending South Hadley High School."

A group of parents got together after Phoebe's death and formed the South Hadley Anti-Bullying Task Force.

Their leader, David Leonard, 53, whose daughter dropped out of the school because of harassment, was killed in a motorcycle accident last week.

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/2010/03/30/2010-03-30_mom_of_teen_charged_with_bullying_south_hadley_hs_student_phoebe_prince_into_sui.html
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« Reply #10 on: March 30, 2010, 09:17:21 PM »

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504083_162-20001441-504083.html?tag=cbsnewsSectionContent.5
Phoebe Prince Suicide: South Hadley High School Didn't Use Advice to Stop Bullies, Says Expert
Tuesday, March 30, 2010


Phoebe Prince (Personal Photo)
BOSTON (CBS/AP) School officials at South Hadley High School didn't follow all the anti-bullying advice they were given months before 15-year-old Phoebe Prince committed suicide, according to a consultant who offered the tips.

Barbara Coloroso said she consulted with parents and administrators months before the harassed freshman hanged herself in January.

Police say she endured months of verbal assaults and threats, mostly in school and in person, although some of the bullying occurred on Facebook and in other electronic forms.

"The questions to ask are: Did they follow their own rules and did they keep Phoebe safe? Obviously not. And, did they deal effectively with the bullies? Obviously not," Coloroso told The Associated Press Tuesday.

Nine students face charges in connection with the girl's death, including two teen boys charged with statutory rape and a clique of girls charged with stalking, criminal harassment and violating Phoebe's civil rights.

School officials won't be charged, even though authorities say they knew about the bullying.

South Hadley High School is located in South Hadley, Mass., about 90 miles east of Boston.
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« Reply #11 on: March 30, 2010, 09:33:33 PM »

kids can be so mean! words can hurt as much or more than physical beatings!

I would have transferred my daughter to another school.....
so sad that this girl felt that she had no other way to turn than killing herself..how unhappy and alone she must have felt...moved from her homeland to a strange place and for this to happen to her is so sad...it is hard enough to be the new kid in school but to be bullied and harassed for no reason had to have been hell...poor kid!
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« Reply #12 on: March 31, 2010, 08:23:09 PM »

http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2010/03/31/anger_turns_toward_school_staff_in_bullying_case/
Anger turns toward staff in bullying case
March 31, 2010

SOUTH HADLEY — Enraged by revelations that staff members at South Hadley High School knew that Phoebe Prince was the target of withering harassment long before her death, residents and public officials yesterday angrily accused the school system of neglecting vulnerable students and called on top administrators to resign.
“Now we find out they knew all along, and did nothing,’’ said Joe Marois, who runs a local construction company. “People are just bewildered they didn’t step in, and are wondering why they weren’t included with the students in the prosecution.’’

School officials, who had previously asserted they knew little about the bullying until after Prince’s death, said in a statement yesterday that they had removed an “additional small group of students’’ from school — the students were not identified — and upgraded the system for tracking bullying incidents. But officials said nothing to address questions about their role in handling the Prince case.

State Representative John W. Scibak, who represents South Hadley, slammed school officials for their silence, and said the public deserves a full accounting of why administrators didn’t act on the harassment reports.

“I’m looking for answers,’’ he said. “Families have a reasonable expectation that these kinds of complaints will be act ed on, and they are entitled to a full explanation of what transpired. People wanted answers two months ago.’’

The outrage stemmed from new details of a monthslong campaign of verbal abuse and physical threats that Prince endured before hanging herself Jan 14. Those details were released Monday by Northwestern District Attorney Elizabeth Scheibel. She announced charges against nine teenagers in connection with Prince’s death and excoriated school officials for failing to intercede, despite the fact the harassment was known to a number of faculty, staff, and administrators.

Scheibel also said that Prince’s mother had spoken with at least two school staff members about the bullying, which the superintendent of schools, Gus Sayer, had previously denied.

The discrepancy infuriated residents, who criticized school officials for turning a blind eye to Prince’s persecution, then claiming they hardly knew about it.

“They lied to the community,’’ said Darby O’Brien, whose stepdaughter is a senior at South Hadley High School. “They lied about how long it had gone on, and they lied that the mother had never come forward. If they had stepped in, this could have been prevented. But they failed miserably, and I don’t think you can trust them to protect the safety of the students.’’

In the school district’s statement yesterday, Christine Sweklo, assistant superintendent for the South Hadley Public Schools, said that administrators had launched a review of the district’s bullying policies and would begin entering reports of harassment — and the subsequent responses — into an electronic database.Continued...
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« Reply #13 on: March 31, 2010, 08:25:18 PM »

http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2010/03/31/district_attorney_faces_unique_challenges_in_bullying_case/
District attorney faces unique challenges in prosecuting teens
March 31, 2010

The district attorney investigating the suicide of a South Hadley student took a bold and highly unusual stand on Monday when she announced that the actions of the nine classmates who allegedly bullied Phoebe Prince were so cruel they were criminal, legal specialists said.
But, they said, when Northwestern District Attorney Elizabeth Scheibel takes the case to court, she will face a unique challenge: With no statute criminalizing school bullying, she must rely on a series of laws rarely used in such cases — including those against stalking, civil rights violations, and statutory rape — and convince a jury that a series of those crimes led to Prince’s death.

“Are these the sorts of charges that would have been filed had there not been a death?’’ said Ronald S. Sullivan Jr., a Harvard law professor. “Is the prosecutor using existing criminal laws in ways that have not been used before in order to vindicate what is, yes, a very horrible tragedy, but a tragedy that may not be recognized by the criminal law?’’

Because of the barrage of charges, Scheibel may face an additional challenge before a jury of appearing a just prosecutor who is meeting her obligations to prosecute crimes, rather than a zealot using any means to avenge the death of a teenage girl, Sullivan and others said.

Other charges Scheibel brought Monday against the nine teenagers in connection with Prince’s Jan. 14 suicide include criminal harassment, disturbing a school assembly, and assault by means of a dangerous weapon — a soda can. She has not linked the charges to specific actions by the students but said the defendants’ actions went beyond the “normal teenage’’ behavior that results from the tension and anger that can swirl around adolescent relationships.

Scheibel appears to have enough probable cause to charge the teens and make a strong case to a jury that the unrelenting nature of the bullying should lead to convictions, Sullivan said.

“When a victim reasonably feels threatened by the actions of others, then it crosses the line from normal teenage behavior to a violation of the criminal law,’’ he said. “From what I’ve seen publicly it appears that this teasing went to a point where the victim felt threatened, not just upset, not just sad but had a reasonable fear for her safety.’’

But some lawyers questioned whether legislators, not prosecutors, should determine if the kind of behavior alleged by authorities is criminal.

“We’re not talking about whether these kids should be punished in some normal fashion or be thrown out of school. We’re talking about whether they should have criminal records or possibly go to jail,’’ said Dan Small, a former federal prosecutor and Boston defense lawyer. “The criminal law is a sledgehammer, not a scalpel, and you’re dealing with very tough social issues with a very blunt instrument.’’

Scheibel had no comment yesterday, according to an assistant.

Two male students, 17 and 18, were accused of statutory rape, following allegations that both teenagers had a brief sexual relationship with Prince.

After one of those relationships ended, several of the female students began harassing Prince, with one of the male students participating in the aggressive taunting, according to Scheibel.

Consensual sex between two teenagers is considered statutory rape if one of the parties is under 16. But in cases of uncoerced sex, it is uncommon for prosecutors to charge young people when they are close in age to the alleged victim.

The charges of civil rights violations — typically used in cases of racial or sexual discrimination or police abuse — were made because officials said the students made going to public school intolerable for Prince.

Stalking charges, normally associated with domestic violence or people sexually or emotionally fixated with a victim, followed allegations that Prince was trailed by tormenters as she tried to get home from school.

John Swomley, a Boston lawyer who does work for the American Civil Liberties Union, said prosecuting teenagers on such charges is vindictive and fails to address the real problem of school bullying.

“I don’t know how you make anybody happy by punishing children,’’ he said. “You’re not teaching by example. You’re teaching by, ‘We’re going to do to you what you did to her.’ ’’

But Matthew Machera, a former Suffolk County prosecutor, said Scheibel’s investigation suggests a pattern of abuse that must be prosecuted.

“Those who want to make the argument that this is normal teenage kid stuff have to look at the fact that this appeared to be an incredibly well-orchestrated attack on one girl,’’ he said. “It’s almost like they had an organized plan and they didn’t stray from it. They were relentless.’’
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« Reply #14 on: April 03, 2010, 02:14:37 PM »

http://www.masslive.com/news/index.ssf/2010/04/south_hadley_high_school_staff.html
South Hadley High School staff 'shocked' by district attorney's report on Phoebe Prince
April 2, 2010

Undated family photo of Phoebe Nora Mary Prince, 15.

SOUTH HADLEY – Some staff members at South Hadley High School are so distraught over the latest developments in the Phoebe Prince matter that the school system has gotten them counseling, School Superintendent Gus A. Sayer said Friday.

The results of an investigation of Prince’s death by Northwestern District Attorney Elizabeth D. Scheibel, which were released Monday, have shocked staff at the school, Sayer said.

On Monday, Scheibel announced that six teen-agers have been indicted on charges, including violation of civil rights, stemming from 15-year-old Prince’s Jan. 14 suicide. The South Hadley High School ninth grader hung herself in the stairwell of her family’s Newton Street apartment after returning home from school.

Prince was the target of relentless bullying at the school from two groups of students over hostilities stemming from a dating relationship. Scheibel called the school’s response troubling, but said the action or lack or action did not rise to the level of criminal conduct.

Sayer said some staff members were “shocked” by the results of Scheibel’s probe.

“They feel they are being blamed for that and some people are very upset by the implication that they were responsible for the death of a child,” Sayer said.

The school district brought in the same counselor who talked with upset students in the school library in the aftermath of Prince’s death. Sayer could not recall the counselor’s name.

As for Scheibel’s remark that educators’ handling of the matter was “troublesome,” Sayer said he will refrain from commenting until after he meets with the district attorney. He is working to set up a meeting.

“Whenever she tells me we can talk, we’ll talk,” Sayer said.

Asked if there will be discipline of staff members who knew about the bullying and did not report it, Sayer responded that that is a possibility.

Employees at the school contacted by the newspaper declined to comment, with one saying that they have been instructed to refer all questions from media members to Sayer.

Meanwhile, stress levels continue to be high in the community. South Hadley remains under scrutiny by news outlets across the country and from around the world. Media running reports recently include CNN and The New York Times, which had a front page story Friday. Newspapers in Ireland are following developments because Prince was an Irish citizen who moved to this country and enrolled at South Hadley High School, according to her obituary, to experience America.

Many reporters have used the parking lot at Carey’s Flowers on Newton Street across from the high school. A sign stating “No media parking please” was posted there to leave spaces for customers over Good Friday and the rest of Easter weekend, the business’ manager, Seth W. Carey said.

Interest in bullying remains strong in the area with police and administrators at Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School in Northampton looking into reports that a 16-year-old student has been bullied by classmates.

The girl, an Amherst resident, told police that four girls have been harassing her for the past several months, calling her names and racial slurs and blocking her path in school corridors, according to Northampton Police Capt. Scott Savino.

Smith Superintendent Arthur P. Apostolou said school officials are aware of the situation and have been working with students and their parents.

“Bullying of any kind can’t be tolerated,” said Apostolou, noting that the school has been aggressive in training teachers and parents on the subject and has rules in place to deal with such situations.

On Friday afternoon, Smith school had a half-day workshop on bullying and empowering bystanders that was scheduled before the indictments were announced, Apostolou said. His school has also invited staff from the Northwestern District Attorney’s Office to educate parents about “cyber-bullying,” in which people use the Internet to harass their victims.

Arraignments of three of the teen-agers believed to have bullied Prince will take place Tuesday at 2 p.m. in Hampshire Superior Court. The remaining three, all 16-year-old girls, will be arraigned Thursday at 9 a.m. in Franklin-Hampshire Juvenile Court in Hadley.
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« Reply #15 on: April 03, 2010, 02:18:12 PM »

http://obits.masslive.com/obituaries/masslive/obituary.aspx?page=lifestory&pid=138777897
(Guest Book at link-has 196 entries to date)
Phoebe Nora Mary Prince (1994 - 2010)

Phoebe Nora Mary Prince 1994 - 2010 SOUTH HADLEY - Our beloved daughter Phoebe Nora Mary Prince died tragically on Thursday, January 14th, 2010. Phoebe was gifted with exceptional beauty - but that is not important. She was gifted with a sharp and creative brain - but that is not important. She had impressive artistic talent - but that is not important. What her family and friends from both sides of the Atlantic grieve in is the loss of the incandescent enthusiasm of a life blossoming. Phoebe was born in Bedford, England on Thursday, 24th November, 1994. At the age of two she moved to County Clare, Ireland where she enjoyed life with an energy only the young possess. At age 14 the family moved to South Hadley, MA so that Phoebe could experience America and be near family, especially her Uncle John, Auntie Eileen, and cousins Brendan and Molly. Here she touched many lives with her Irish mannerisms and sense of humor. Phoebe will forever live in the hearts of her many friends here in America and Ireland, in particular her dearest friend Cliodhna, from Doolin, County Clare. Phoebe leaves behind her mother Anne Obrien Prince, father Jeremy Prince, sisters Lauren, Tessa and Bridget and brother Simon. Private services and Mass were held January 18th in South Hadley. Additional services will be held in Ireland. A memorial scholarship will be created in Phoebe's name. At this time the family asks that any donations be sent to the Phoebe Prince Scholarship Fund at Peoples Bank, 494 Newton Street, South Hadley, MA 01075. "Go gcoinni Dia i mbos a laimhe thu".

Published in The Republican on January 22, 2010
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« Reply #16 on: April 03, 2010, 02:25:35 PM »

http://www.metro.us/us/article/2010/03/30/02/5711-72/index.xml
Teenagers face charges relating to girl’s suicide
March 29, 2010

or the three months before 15-year-old Phoebe Prince hanged herself, she was tormented, threatened and harassed by her classmates, nine of which were indicted yesterday for charges relating to her suicide.

“The investigation revealed relentless activity directed toward Phoebe designed to humiliate her and to make it impossible for her to remain at school,” said Northwestern District Attorney Elizabeth Scheibel.

Prince started at South Hadley High School in the fall of 2009. She moved to Massachusetts from Ireland “to experience America and be with family,” her family said in her obituary.

Prince hanged herself in January after “a culmination of a nearly three month campaign” of abuse.

Many students and faculty members knew about the harassment.
Facing charges

    *  Sharon Chanon Velazquez and Flannery Mullins, both 16, violation of civil rights as a youthful offender, stalking as a youthful offender.
    * Ashley Longe, 16, violation of civil rights as a youth.
    * Sean Mulveyhill, 17, statutory rape, violation of civil rights, criminal harassment, disturbance of a school assembly.
    * Kayla Narey, 17, violation of civil rights, criminal harassment, disturbance of a school assembly.
    * Austin Renaud, 18, statutory rape.
    * Three unnamed female juveniles also face     charges.

 

Scott Seider, an assistant professor of education at Boston University, offers insight into bullying:

Why do adults let bullying go unreported?
“It requires time to sit down and talk to everybody and requires time to process what has happened. If you’re a teacher running between classes ... and you see bullying, most teachers will stop the situation, but ... you can’t do that and go teach your class in two minutes. ... There [are] no short solutions.”

How should a teacher respond to seeing students picking on a student?
“It’s important for them to sit down with the student being bullied to get their perspective and to sit down with the student who is doing the bullying to get why they are doing it and to make it clear this is not how it works in the community.”
 
Timeline

    *  August 2009: The Prince family moves to Massachusetts from Ireland “so that Phoebe could live near family members” and according to a death notice in the Republican.
    * September 2009: Phoebe Prince begins class at South Hadley High School.
    * September 2009: South Hadley brings Barbara Coloroso, a conflict resolution speaker that addressed students after Columbine, to speak to the community about bullying. 
    * October 2009 — January 2010: Prince briefly dates a member of the football team, setting off a chain of bullying via the Web, text message and in person.
    * October 2009 — January 2010: According to official investigation, “most of the South Hadley student body” knew of the harassment endured by Prince. Phoebe’s mother spoke with at least two school staff members about the harassment. At least four students and two faculty members reported her harassment to officials.
    * Jan. 14: Harassed in the school’s library, harassed in the halls and harassed on her walk home, Prince endured a torturous day.
    * Jan. 14, 4:40 p.m.: Police receive a phone call requesting medical assistance. Phoebe was found by the responding medical team after hanging herself in her closet. According to reports, her 12-year-old sister discovered her.

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« Reply #17 on: April 06, 2010, 04:52:07 PM »

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/ap/top/all/6946646.html
3 plead not guilty in Mass. school bullying case
Tuesday, April 6, 2010

 NORTHAMPTON, Mass. — Three Massachusetts teenagers pleaded not guilty through their lawyers Tuesday in the bullying of a 15-year-old girl who committed suicide after what prosecutors call months of threats and harassment.

The teens were not required to appear at the hearing in Hampshire Superior Court.

Sean Mulveyhill and Kayla Narey, both 17 and from South Hadley, and 18-year-old Austin Renaud, of Springfield, will remain free on personal recognizance on the condition that they stay away from the family of Phoebe Prince, the girl who died.

Mulveyhill and Renaud are charged with statutory rape. Mulveyhill and Narey are also charged with violation of civil rights resulting in bodily injury, criminal harassment and disturbance of a school assembly.

They are among nine teens charged in what prosecutors said was the "unrelenting" bullying of Prince, who hanged herself Jan. 14. Prince, who had emigrated from Ireland last summer, was a freshman at South Hadley High School.

Authorities said she was harassed and bullied after having a brief relationship with a popular boy. They have not identified the boy, but friends said it was Mulveyhill, who was a star football player at South Hadley High School.

Prosecutors said the bullying went on for three months, and included insults and threats made in school and through cell phone text messages. Phoebe killed herself Jan. 14 after a day of near-constant bullying, including being hit with a beverage container as she walked home from school.

Renaud's lawyer, Terrence Dunphy, would not comment on the relationship between Prince and Renaud or the statutory rape charge against him. He said lawyers have not received any information yet from prosecutors on what evidence they have.

"I can't get into the defense when I don't know what the evidence is," Dunphy said after the hearing.

A pretrial hearing for Mulveyhill, Narey and Renaud was scheduled for Sept. 15.

Three other teens — Ashley Longe, Flannery Mullins and Sharon Chanon Velazquez — are scheduled to be arraigned Thursday in Franklin-Hampshire Juvenile Court in Hadley.
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« Reply #18 on: April 06, 2010, 07:36:32 PM »

http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2010/04/06/3_teens_charged_in_bullying_to_skip_arraignment/
3 teens charged in bullying to skip arraignment
Waive appearance under court rule

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Three teenagers who were scheduled to appear in Hampshire Superior Court today to answer to criminal bullying charges related to the suicide of 15-year-old Phoebe Prince have hired lawyers and will not go to their arraignments, a court official said.

Sean Mulveyhill and Kayla Narey, both 17 and from South Hadley, and 18-year-old Austin Renaud of Springfield have cited a state court rule that allows them to formally waive their appearance. The only requirements under the court rule are that their lawyers notify the court beforehand that they have been hired and that they tell their client the next court date.

The three teenagers would have appeared in court, and thus the public spotlight, for the first time since prosecutors announced the charges last week in a case that has garnered worldwide attention.

Prince, who came from Ireland and was starting her first year at South Hadley High School, hanged herself Jan. 14 after enduring what prosecutors called relentless bullying by the three teenagers and at least six others at the school.

Mulveyhill and Renaud were charged with statutory rape, and Mulveyhill and Narey face charges of violation of civil rights, criminal harassment, and disturbance of a school assembly.

Lawyers for Mulveyhill and Renaud could not be reached for comment yesterday. Michael Jennings, who represents Narey, said his client was simply invoking an established court rule that allows her to skip the hearing.

“There’s no advantage to being there, and you’re allowed to be absent,’’ he said.

Jennings said he has not seen the evidence behind the charges his client faces, and so could not comment about allegations that she harassed Prince. “This case is so much in its infancy,’’ he said.

Three other teenagers face charges of being youthful offenders. Flannery Mullins, Sharon Chanon Velazquez, and Ashley Longe, all 16 and from South Hadley, are slated to be arraigned in Hampshire-Franklin Juvenile Court in Hadley Thursday.

Three other teenagers were charged as minors with civil rights violations.
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« Reply #19 on: April 08, 2010, 08:18:26 PM »

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2010/04/06/national/a121239D90.DTL&tsp=1

3 girls in Mass. bullying case plead not guilty

April 8, 2010

Three teenage girls accused of participating in the bullying of a 15-year-old girl who committed suicide pleaded not guilty through their lawyers Thursday to charges including civil rights violations and criminal harassment.

Ashley Longe, Sharon Chanon Velazquez and Flannery Mullins, all 16, did not appear in Franklin-Hampshire Juvenile Court for their arraignments. Three other teens have already been charged in adult court.

A judge ordered them to have no contact with the family of Phoebe Prince, a South Hadley High School freshman who hanged herself in January after what prosecutors called an "unrelenting" three-month bullying campaign by six teenagers. Prosecutors say Prince was targeted after she briefly dated a popular boy.

A prosecutor has said school administrators and teachers knew about the harassment but did little to stop it.

"This is the first step in a long process," Alfred Chamberland, Mullins' lawyer, said Thursday. Lawyers for the other two defendants left the courthouse without commenting.

Assistant District Attorney Michael Cahillane declined to discuss specifics of the case after the hearing, saying further information would come out in court proceedings and records.

"We will respect the court process in order to protect the rights of the victim and the defendants in this case," he said.

Mullins, Velazquez and Longe are charged as youthful offenders with civil rights violations resulting in injury. Mullins and Velazquez are also charged with stalking.

Prosecutors said in court Thursday that all three also face separate deliquency cases listing the same alleged offenses, along with criminal harassment charges against each of them.

Longe also is charged under delinquency statutes with assault for allegedly throwing a beverage can at Prince shortly before she hanged herself, according to court records and prosecutors.

Prosecutors said they will argue the deliquency charges at the same time as the other charges. Had the teens been charged only under deliquency laws and not as youthful offenders, their identities would have been confidential.

The maximum punishment in a juvenile delinquency case is commitment to a state youth services facility until age 18. Juveniles ages 15 and 16 who are charged with a felony can be prosecuted as youthful offenders under certain circumstances, including when they are charged with a crime that involves the infliction or threat of serious bodily harm.

Juveniles convicted as youthful offenders can receive sentences in adult prisons or county jails, a commitment to youth services until age 21, or a combination of a commitment to age 21 and a suspended adult sentence.

The three other teens charged in connection with Prince's death are being tried in adult court and had not guilty pleas entered on their behalf at their arraignments Tuesday.

Sean Mulveyhill, 17, and Austin Renaud, 18, are charged with statutory rape. Kayla Narey, 17, is charged with civil rights violations and harassment. All three were released on personal recognizance and ordered to stay away from the Prince family.

Prince's family has not commented on the arrests and did not attend the arraignments Tuesday and Thursday.

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