herald

Thursday 30 October 2014

Damning new book charts the torment of tragic teen Phoebe

A NEW book has exposed the dangers of keeping quiet in a small town when it comes to instances of bullying.

'Tread Softly: Bullying And The Death of Phoebe Prince'. by EJ Fleming, charting the torment suffered by Irish teenager Phoebe Prince (15) before she took her own life in 2010, has just been published.

It gives a harrowing account of the circumstances which led Phoebe to hang herself in her Massachussets home just down the road from the school she attended, South Hadley High School.

Phoebe had just moved to the US from Co Clare with her mum and sister.

The damning new book describes how bullying had become a culture at the American high school.

It criticises the school authorities for burying their heads in the sand when it came to instances of bullying at the school.

The failure of the local police department to follow up the case and other incidences of bullying as well as the "out-of-control house parties" hosted by some of the South Hadley students is also explored in the book.

Six of Phoebe's classmates were charged in connection with her death, including charges of criminal harassment, statutory rape and other crimes related to the bullying she suffered during her last months at the school.

Five out of six of the students admitted guilt to some of the charges, but none were jailed.

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