The Prince family relocated to Western Massachusetts from Ireland last fall. Their daughter, Phoebe who was 15, made friends and was invited by a boy at school to attend a winter dance. However, instead of planning shoes, makeup and hair, this family will be planning a funeral. Phoebe Prince, 15, a young woman with her life ahead of her, and after repeated taunting and bullying committed suicide on January 14, 2010. Phoebe Prince was the victim of abuse. She was bullied both in person at school as well as taunted by her enemies by text message and social networking sites.
Technology brings with it a new means for bullies to assail their victims. Bullies today have at their disposal an arsenal of weapons to unleash on their unsuspecting victims. For most, text messaging and social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace are ways to connect with friends. For a bully, however, Facebook, MySpace and text messaging offer a way to communicate, taunt and torment victims. Thus, the days of bullying being seen as just a problem to endure during school hours are over and victims are now encountering this issue 24/7 with no relief.
Phoebe Prince is certainly not the first young person to experience this sort of abuse, and unfortunately, she probably won’t be the last. Parents, talk to your children about what is going on in their lives. Check up on their internet and cell phone use. Make certain that your child knows that this type of abusive behavior is unacceptable. A life could be at stake.
Let's hear from you! What are your ideas to stop bullying in our schools so that they are safe places for our children?