9 Teenagers Are Charged After Classmate’s Suicide

The tragic suicide earlier this year of freshmen high school student, Phoebe Prince, near Springfield, Massachusetts, has created the typical response by school officials: launch an anti-bullying campaign. However, this re-active approach is often too little too late. Instead of teaching anti-bullying in high school, we need to put programs in place that teach compassion, acceptance, and right action in fifth and sixth grades before these disastrous behaviors take root.  Sure, there are the four or five possible bullies in every class (or school) that need anti-aggression measures, but all students can benefit from what it means to be emotionally intelligent–to treat yourself and others with respect. This reminds me of last week’s actions where we saw violent behavior against politicians by citizens on both sides regarding the new health reform laws. Instead of peacefully working through issues, insults and threats are hurled back and forth, which ultimately affect our children. If we don’t think this doesn’t trickle down into children’s attitudes and behavior, we are only fooling themselves because it does. LifeBound’s student success books and curriculum are used by districts across the country who are seeking a proactive approach to stemming these kinds of devastating behaviors. All of our text for middle-grade students foster healthy relationships, wise decision-making skills and appropriate boundaries. These books are:

  • SUCCESS IN MIDDLE SCHOOL: A Transition Road Map
  • PEOPLE SMARTS FOR TEENAGERS: Becoming Emotionally Intelligent
  • GIFTS & TALENTS FOR TEENAGERS: Discovering Your Unique Strengths

To receive review copies of these books, call our national toll free number at 1.877.737.8510 or send an email with your request to contact@lifebound.com

  • How can we adopt a prophylactic approach to creating compassionate and safe school communities?
  • How might we identify bullies early on and give them the skills to develop empathy and self-awareness before their behaviors become full-blown?
  • How can we do the same for students who may be vulnerable to bullying? In our schools, what steps can we take to embrace and celebrate differences rather than allowing these differences to make students the targets of harassment and other forms of aggression?


New York TimesMarch 30, 2010

It is not clear what some students at South Hadley High School expected to achieve by subjecting a freshman to the relentless taunting described by a prosecutor and classmates.

Certainly not her suicide. And certainly not the multiple felony indictments announced on Monday against several students at the Massachusetts school. The prosecutor brought charges Monday against nine teenagers, saying their taunting and physical threats were beyond the pale and led the freshman, Phoebe Prince, to hang herself from a stairwell in January. The charges were an unusually sharp legal response to the problem of adolescent bullying, which is increasingly conducted in cyberspace as well as in the schoolyard and has drawn growing concern from parents, educators and lawmakers. In the uproar around the suicides of Ms. Prince, 15, and an 11-year-old boy subjected to harassment in nearby Springfield last year, the Massachusetts legislature stepped up work on an anti-bullying law that is now near passage. The law would require school staff members to report suspected incidents and principals to investigate them. It would also demand that schools teach about the dangers of bullying. Forty-one other states have anti-bullying laws of varying strength. To view the entire article visit

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One Response to “9 Teenagers Are Charged After Classmate’s Suicide”

  1. Erica says:

    This is really sad! I feel for my family emmbers who have little ones growing up in this world today. One thing you said was we need to teach “compassion, acceptance, and right action” because this is something even adults need to model after.


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