Phoebe Prince Trial Ends with No Jail Time for Accused Bullies

Family Matters on 05.06.11

Photo: Marcie Casas/Creative Commons 

The sad saga of Phoebe Prince ended yesterday, reports Slate, with the final court rulings for the five teenagers charged in her death: All of the teens were put on probation, and none face jail time. The court dropped the felony charges against them, and promised a clean record if the teens are successful on probation.

Prince, who emigrated from Ireland to Massachusetts in 2009, was reportedly bullied for having a relationship with the older boyfriend of one of her classmates. After three months of harassment at school, via text message, and over Facebook, she killed herself in January 2010 at the age of 15.

The students who bullied her were charged with felony civil rights violations -- the prosecutor argued that their treatment of Phoebe interfered with her right to an education -- and they became the faces of a national discussion of bullying.

Slate's Emily Bazelon covered the case for more than a year, digging into Prince's background, the role she played in what happened at South Hadley, and assessing the court's decision: You can read the full investigations as part of Slate's cyberbulling series

 

What do you think of the court's decision -- did the teens deserve a harsher sentence?

 

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