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Thread: Nine Charged in Bullying of Massachusetts Teen Who Killed Herself

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    Re: Nine Charged in Bullying of Massachusetts Teen Who Killed Herself

    Quote Originally Posted by liblady View Post
    i think they have been, at least i hope so.
    I mean they should have been long before now.

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    Re: Nine Charged in Bullying of Massachusetts Teen Who Killed Herself

    Quote Originally Posted by jallman View Post
    The sexual assault is the only thing I have read that needs to be addressed, criminally. If she was thrown down stairs, then that should have been addressed, also.

    The remainder of everything else I read, the school should have addressed with detentions and suspensions. Nothing happened to this girl that I haven't personally witnessed or suffered myself at one time or another. Kids go to school 5 days a week. I can assure you that 5 days a week, something similar happens at every school. (again, barring the sexual assault)

    I just don't see criminal prosecution being a worthwhile pursuit for most of these kids. Yeah, the girl committed suicide and that's tragic. But her commiting suicide does not make these other kids criminals.
    Im not saying these particular kids should all be classed as criminals, but we as a society do ave a tendency to overlook what goes on in schools, even when it takes the form of acts whic would result in prosecution anywhere else. If attacking someone outside the school grounds would get you arrested, then god knows the same should apply within the building. I'm not saying make "urt feelings" a criminal matter, but let's not overlook te downright rancid stuff as just part of being a teenager. I've seen, as a student at school and at the hospitals I work in, kids actually being injured on school grounds; broken bones, bruises, cuts, te whole malrakey. And no-one does anything, unless their parents are willing to raise some hell themselves.
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    Re: Nine Charged in Bullying of Massachusetts Teen Who Killed Herself

    What are they being charged with? Harassment?

    This is stupid. Yeah what they did is probably illegal but she chose to let it get to her and made the decision to kill herself. It's her fault alone that she chose to kill herself and not theirs.

    (Not commenting on the statutory rape charge BTW since the article didn't say much about it.)
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    Re: Nine Charged in Bullying of Massachusetts Teen Who Killed Herself

    Quote Originally Posted by jallman View Post
    Can we just put some perspective on this?

    First of all, hanging yourself in a closet is a very extreme reaction by a teenager to "Nobody likes me!!!"

    At different times in our teenage lives, we all felt that way. And who hasn't been the object of some bullying at varying times? Really? Seriously? Who hasn't been party to or the object of some bullying?

    It's part of growing up. It's not a very pleasant aspect of being a kid but it's just part and parcel of the maturing experience. Kids are mean. We all know this. No creature reverts to its primal sadistic state with such alacrity and glee as a kid outside the presence of adults. It's about pecking order and social dominance and just the fact that you are dealing with immature little snots. But it is what it is.

    Has anyone stopped to think that maybe these kids didn't do much more than any other kids at any other school but this time their bullying is being magnified as a cause to keep from addressing that Phoebe may have had some compounding stresses or mental illness that caused her to take her own life?
    The harassment started in September and ended with her death on January 14th. Just look at the numbers involved, 4 girls and 2 boys have been charged and it sound like they were relentless in that it happened at school and online and text messages. Read the following statement from the DA. It was more than hurt feelings. She suffered tremendous cruelty.

    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.

    Two boys were involved in the rape and the physical abuse was witnessed by teachers who did nothing.

    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."

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

    So no, their bullying is not being blown out of proportion to cover up a problem with the victim, other than she was a victim and you like her tormentors are victimizing her again.

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    Re: Nine Charged in Bullying of Massachusetts Teen Who Killed Herself

    I think any teacher witnessing the abuse (particularly the rape if that part is true) must face disciplinary actions if not legal (particularly the rape if that part is true) for this inaction.
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    Re: Nine Charged in Bullying of Massachusetts Teen Who Killed Herself

    Quote Originally Posted by Anima View Post
    Im not saying these particular kids should all be classed as criminals, but we as a society do ave a tendency to overlook what goes on in schools, even when it takes the form of acts whic would result in prosecution anywhere else.
    True. Because they are kids. Their little noodles aren't developed completely and they have almost zero impulse control, a difficult time finding empathy with those outside their "packs", and they haven't come to understand the resonating impact of their actions. That's why we have juvenile courts separate from adult courts...it's a biological thing and not something they can really help.

    If attacking someone outside the school grounds would get you arrested, then god knows the same should apply within the building. I'm not saying make "urt feelings" a criminal matter, but let's not overlook te downright rancid stuff as just part of being a teenager. I've seen, as a student at school and at the hospitals I work in, kids actually being injured on school grounds; broken bones, bruises, cuts, te whole malrakey. And no-one does anything, unless their parents are willing to raise some hell themselves.
    If it is, in fact, coming to grievous and permanent injury, then there should be some consequence on the criminal front. That goes beyond rancid teenage behavior.

    But a couple bruises, a busted lip, whatever...that's all part of being a kid and growing up. And, if one kid can't handle that, it may just be Darwin calling. Sad as that sounds, it's probably the most likely scenario here.

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    Re: Nine Charged in Bullying of Massachusetts Teen Who Killed Herself

    Quote Originally Posted by jallman View Post
    But a couple bruises, a busted lip, whatever...that's all part of being a kid and growing up. And, if one kid can't handle that, it may just be Darwin calling. Sad as that sounds, it's probably the most likely scenario here.
    I'd agree with you, but we've somehow gotten away from that. Kids should learn to defend themselves and act against aggressors when necessary. But we shun all forms of violence these days. I think one strong aspect of being a kid is learning that you'll have to stick up for yourself from time to time. But things are getting out of hand, instead of a school yard scuffle, people turn to guns or gang beatings. Back when you could just have a fight and call it good, things were better. If people picked on you, you could beat them up and leave it on the school yard after that. I think a nice little beating would have done this "mean girls" good and perhaps left another child alive.

    I also think parents these days are well too eager to divorce themselves from the whole "parenting" thing. Which doesn't behoove anyone.
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    Re: Nine Charged in Bullying of Massachusetts Teen Who Killed Herself

    Quote Originally Posted by Gina
    The harassment started in September and ended with her death on January 14th. Just look at the numbers involved, 4 girls and 2 boys have been charged and it sound like they were relentless in that it happened at school and online and text messages. Read the following statement from the DA. It was more than hurt feelings. She suffered tremendous cruelty.
    Nothing you quoted caused physical harm to her, so there was no "tremendous cruelty". Your feelings only get hurt if you let them.

    So no, their bullying is not being blown out of proportion to cover up a problem with the victim, other than she was a victim and you like her tormentors are victimizing her again.
    First, as I already said, "verbal abuse" is by its very nature consensual, as the only way your feelings get hurt is if you let them. She let them get to her; that was her fault.

    Second, there is absolutely no information regarding the physical abuse or the statutory rape so there is absolutely no possibility of discussing it here (except for the "physical abuse" which was probably having an empty Red Bull can thrown at her, which is ridiculous to call abuse).

    Quote Originally Posted by Ikari
    But things are getting out of hand, instead of a school yard scuffle, people turn to guns or gang beatings.
    That is because the punishment for fist fights has gotten so ridiculous that it is forcing kids to attack each other through other means that are more difficult to detect and ultimately more sinister.
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    Re: Nine Charged in Bullying of Massachusetts Teen Who Killed Herself

    My daily day in Highschool was being tormented daily that included being ignored by everyone or being hit physically or spit on by boys and girls. I rarely talked with kids because they'd normally brush off my attempts at conversation and I mean all the kids did that, the jocks, nerds, losers, etc. I had no one to talk with or hang with in HS, except for my Senior year a Bulgarian student moved to my school from his nation. And he and I would talk whenever possible.

    Now after having endured that, I don't believe even after being raped that one should commit suicide. Or just because they are made fun off. I saw the picture of the girl and she was very pretty and I would have loved to known a girl so beautiful like her. But its a shame that she killed herself. Its hard the experiences I had while in school, and I still have difficulties trusting people but one thing i would never do is hurt myself or anyone else. And for those who say get over it because everyone gets made fun of. Their are instances where things are just more than being made fun of.

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    Re: Nine Charged in Bullying of Massachusetts Teen Who Killed Herself

    Quote Originally Posted by jallman View Post
    True. Because they are kids. Their little noodles aren't developed completely and they have almost zero impulse control, a difficult time finding empathy with those outside their "packs", and they haven't come to understand the resonating impact of their actions. That's why we have juvenile courts separate from adult courts...it's a biological thing and not something they can really help.
    Mhm, and I think we need to find a middle ground between taking that into account and letting kids off with criminal beaviour. Age may be an explanation, and that should be kept in mind, but it's not an excuse.



    Quote Originally Posted by Jallman
    If it is, in fact, coming to grievous and permanent injury, then there should be some consequence on the criminal front. That goes beyond rancid teenage behavior.

    But a couple bruises, a busted lip, whatever...that's all part of being a kid and growing up. And, if one kid can't handle that, it may just be Darwin calling. Sad as that sounds, it's probably the most likely scenario here.
    I honestly don't think a kid should have to handle physical violence as part and parcel of growing up. I don't think it confers any benefit in terms of strength or "toughness", and I don't think it should be in any way condoned. Kids are assholes, that's a fact of life. But as soon as you raise your hand to another person in an unprovoked attack, you're out of line, regardless of age. I'm not really sure like the idea of letting kids think that's not objectionable beaviour; seems like the kind of thing that, for some of them, may persist into adultood.
    "I'll govern for all the ambitions of Scotland, and for all of the people who imagine that we can live in a better land. This party, the Scottish party, your party, carries your hope, and we shall carry it carefully, and make the nation proud."
    Alex Salmond, First Minister of Scotland, Scottish National Party

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