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9 Charged In Student’s Bullying Death – The Public Schools Administrators Knew; Refused to Follow Rules

Posted by iusbvision on March 30, 2010

As I have seen on campus time and time again, and as groups like FIRE, the ACLU and the Alliance Defense Fund have seen repeatedly, when it comes to government school administrators it often takes some type of force or coercion to get them to follow their own rules or even simply obey the law.  

Government administrators are not accountable to students or parents, union schools are worse in this regard. They behave as if the school exists to pay them a five or six figure salary.  The welfare of the administration is paramount and the welfare and rights of the students is only a priority so far as it never conflicts with the whims and conveniences of the administration. This is a pattern of behavior that can be shown time and time and time again as you will all see in my upcoming book.  

Phoebe Prince

So now we have the latest tragic example of what government union run schools bring us. This perfectly lovely young girl is dead in large part because the public school faculty and administration, who was well aware of what was going on, repeatedly broke their own rules regarding bullying and assault and did nothing.  

WCVB Boston:  

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. — Nine teenagers have been charged in connection with the suicide death of South Hadley High School student Phoebe Prince, 15, who took her life after she was bullied by other students at her school, Northwestern District Attorney Elizabeth Scheibel said Monday.  

“The investigation revealed relentless activity directed at Phoebe,” in the three months before her death, Scheibel said, until the situation became “intolerable” for the girl.  

Prince, a student at the school whose family had recently moved to the U.S. from Ireland, took her own life in January, authorities said, after she was bullied for three months both at school and online by other students.  

“It appears that Phoebe’s death on Jan. 14 followed a tortuous day for her in which she was subjected to verbal harassment and threatened physical abuse,” Scheibel said.  

The district attorney said according to the investigation, which involved interviews with more than 50 people, on the day of her death Prince was harassed as she studied in the school library, and as she walked in the school hallways and later as she walked home.  

The bullying in the library was witnessed by a faculty member and other students but was not reported until after Prince’s death, Scheibel said, adding that the bullying of Prince was “common knowledge” at the school.  

It gets worse…  

CBS News:  

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.  

You see this is where I have a problem. If it were up to me the school officials would be charged, dragged off in irons and perp walked in front of the media. This is also a big argument against union run government schools, why would you entrust your children to a group of people who are immune from civil lawsuits. Are these the kind of government union types you want running our health care?  

NY Daily News:  

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.  

…  

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.  

   

It is so much easier to just deny that your union school doesn’t have a bullying problem, or a drug problem etc. Heck to make the problem go away it is so much easier to blame the victim isn’t it? That is how it was when I went to public school so many years ago. Obviously the union mentality hasn’t changed.  

All the school officials had to do was exercise common sense, but no, so now the state has to impose common sense on school officials by force. The Massachusetts House just unanimously passed new anti-bullying laws. Should it take now a second, more forceful round of new laws to do what any decent person would have done to put an end to this? This is what the union mentality and the bureaucratic mentality does. Remember these school officials are paid five and six figure salaries to excercise good judgement, but as has been shown countless times they just won’t.

3 Responses to “9 Charged In Student’s Bullying Death – The Public Schools Administrators Knew; Refused to Follow Rules”

  1. Austin said

    Wow this is messed up, effed up teachers, kids and admins…

  2. Paul Geer said

    I’m still in the fence with this one, blaming school officials. I’m not sure with the rules on how to deal with teens, such as they are today in schools, could have done anything without violating somebodies civil rights. This is where we are today… protection with no effect. To protect one persons rights you must trample on another persons rights. and “we” sure can’t ignore everyone’s civil rights. This can’t continue… We need to find out why this kind of “bulling” is being played out in public schools. All the rules in the world and hall cameras will never accomplish anything if we don’t understand what’s up and why teens today are so vicious with each other. So far, what has been done to stop school violence has only perpetuate it.

    [You are correct about how cruel some kids can be. However the courts have always ruled that protecting children is “a compelling government interest” and since these school officials are paid to accept a public trust they are responsible, especially becauise they broke their own rules with their inaction.

    The state is now passing new laws to hold people more responsible. In my view we need less “regulation” per se but we need tougher “good faith” laws and laws that punish those who “violate the public trust”. – Editor]

  3. Paul Geer said

    I agree, if the government is going to offer such protection, then we need to hold them to it.

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