The death of 15 year old Phoebe Prince who arrived in America about a year ago from Ireland should be compulsory study in every high school in America. The fifteen year old arrived in the United States and assume attending high school would not only be a learning experience but fun as she met new friends. From day one of her arrival, a group of girls at the high school decided Phoebe was not their type and began a daily constant program of verbal abuse not only in her presence but on Facebook. Girls followed her in school shouting, “Irish slut,” and other insults, but apparently, no teachers ever heard their shouts. She undoubtedly committed a terrible crime by briefly dating a popular football player. As anyone who has taught in American high school knows, football players are reserved for the cheerleaders.
The Massachusetts legislature has passed an anti-bullying law, but there are unanswered questions. As one who taught high school for ten years and has worked with 12,000 teachers it is impossible for me to believe that teachers and school administrators did not know what was happening to Phoebe. There should be a police investigation of the faculty and criminal charges brought against any educator who allowed such behavior. We hope the family will sue the school district in order to send a message to teachers and administrators that children at a school have a right to personal security.