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Update: 6 indicted in Phoebe Prince bullying probe
The Republican ^ | 3/30/10 | Sandra Constantine

Posted on 03/30/2010 1:15:16 PM PDT by Vermont Lt

NORTHAMPTON – Six young people have been indicted on charges ranging from statutory rape to criminal harassment in the death of 15-year-old Phoebe N. Prince, who hanged herself in January after months of intense bullying at South Hadley High School.

(Excerpt) Read more at masslive.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events; US: Massachusetts
KEYWORDS: bulies; bullying; craigslist; cyberbullying; education; harassment; hatecrime; hatespeech; immigrant; irish; moralabsolutes; northampton; publiceducation; publicschools; statutoryrape; suicide
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Most recent update on bullying in a local town.
1 posted on 03/30/2010 1:15:16 PM PDT by Vermont Lt
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To: Vermont Lt

And sadly none will get the death penalty.


2 posted on 03/30/2010 1:16:27 PM PDT by pnh102 (Regarding liberalism, always attribute to malice what you think can be explained by stupidity. - Me)
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To: Vermont Lt

3 posted on 03/30/2010 1:19:26 PM PDT by JoeProBono (A closed mouth gathers no feet)
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To: Vermont Lt

This isn’t Bullying. Bullying is kid stuff. This is intimidation od a Statutory Rape victim to shut her up. A very Adult crime.


4 posted on 03/30/2010 1:21:48 PM PDT by massgopguy (I owe everything to George Bailey)
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To: pnh102

The things that bother me about this whole case are not the “normal” things that seem to be bothering people. Yes, these kids were wrong and they will pay.

But rather beyond the pinning blame game, these are the things that bother me:

What is going on in these kids heads to make them think this was OK? I can understand one or two kids without a moral compass...but nine?

What was a fifteen year old girl doing having sex with two guys? What was this kid missing in her life? How common is this?

Where were the parents? All of these kids were living these horrible lives and not a single parent of the ten of them knew anything about it? Not one?

I know that there has been talk about the school’s culpability, and I tend to think that it is beyond the scope of things the school should be responsible for it it happens outside of the building.

Were the rest of the kids in school so terrified about this that told no one? Not a parent? Not an older, more responsible brother or sister; aunt or uncle? This type of thing cannot go on for very long before people know about it. And yet, no one DID anything.

All of this happened soon after another young kid was bullied into committing suicide a few months earlier—so all of the warning signs had been plastered around the area.

This whole episode breaks my heart.


5 posted on 03/30/2010 1:23:26 PM PDT by Vermont Lt (This nation, of the people, by the people, and for the people has perished from the land.)
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To: Vermont Lt

I’m beginning to understand why they make guns.


6 posted on 03/30/2010 1:24:38 PM PDT by WilliamofCarmichael (If modern America's Man on Horseback is out there, Get on the damn horse already!)
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To: massgopguy

You see, I thought it was the girlfriends of the guys trying to get back at this girl for sleeping with their boys.

I was under the impression that it was the girls putting the heat on her, not the guys.

The whole statutory rape thing, while true (she was under the age of consent) was not forced. From what I understand it was consensual to the degree that girl of 15 understands consent.


7 posted on 03/30/2010 1:26:52 PM PDT by Vermont Lt (This nation, of the people, by the people, and for the people has perished from the land.)
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To: Vermont Lt
The whole statutory rape thing, while true (she was under the age of consent) was not forced. From what I understand it was consensual to the degree that girl of 15 understands consent.

Force is not a requirement for statutory rape.

8 posted on 03/30/2010 1:31:05 PM PDT by SoldierDad (Proud Papa of two new Army Brats! Congrats to my Soldier son and his wife.)
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To: Vermont Lt

There were adults who knew what was going on. Some tried to stop it, some did nothing.


9 posted on 03/30/2010 1:44:06 PM PDT by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: SoldierDad

I didn’t read anything that said she consented to the sex. Did I miss something?


10 posted on 03/30/2010 1:45:15 PM PDT by NativeTxn
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To: JoeProBono

what a pretty girl. Someone was probably jealous of her, and girls can be so friggin’ mean.
Sad tale


11 posted on 03/30/2010 1:47:23 PM PDT by ronniesgal ( I miss George Bush. Hell, I miss Bill Clinton!!)
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To: Vermont Lt
Prince’s harassment was common knowledge to most students, faculty, staff and administrators, Scheibel said. The district attorney’s investigation determined, however, that the school officials’ actions, or lack of action, did not rise to the level of criminal conduct, she said during a press conference at her offices.

Of course, if she had belonged to a protected demographic, then there would be a civil rights case since the school officials permitted the harassment to go on.

12 posted on 03/30/2010 1:47:37 PM PDT by a fool in paradise (VP Biden on Obamacare's passage: "This is a big f-ing deal". grumpygresh: "Repeal the f-ing deal")
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To: SoldierDad

Dead at 15, this beautiful young girl lost 70 years of what should have been a life of fun, a family, travel, games, the prom, school, learning, books, getting her drivers license, and unfortunately, occasional loss, tragedy, and heartbreak. I could go on and on; what right did these bullies have to take it from her? They may get only a few years in jail; but the mind is a terrible prison and even if they don’t have much of a conscience, I hope the loss of this young child always bothers them.


13 posted on 03/30/2010 1:51:30 PM PDT by laconic
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To: Vermont Lt

What a beautiful 15-yr old young lady! And to have her life snuff out by bullies. And two of three guys charged are charged with raping her. What a terrible life she had to live after that. Is there any justice in this world that can serve these bullies well?

14 posted on 03/30/2010 1:56:21 PM PDT by rawhide
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To: NativeTxn

I can’t say. The story doesn’t provide sufficient detail regarding the rape in order to determine whether consent was an issue or not. The fact that the charge is “statutory” suggests the “relationship” was consentual, but that’s all.


15 posted on 03/30/2010 1:57:04 PM PDT by SoldierDad (Proud Papa of two new Army Brats! Congrats to my Soldier son and his wife.)
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To: Vermont Lt

My understanding from a separate article on Yahoo yesterday was that several students along with teachers had approached the school administration about the bullying of Phoebe going on inside the school and yet they chose to do nothing. I think the mom also approached the school admin.

Originally they thought a lot of the intimidation was online, but the latest article I read stated almost all of the bullying was done face to face.

Last I heard her father was still in Europe. Hadn’t come to the US yet. It’s a shame because the father would probably have been more forceful and effective than the mom in dealing with the school admin.


16 posted on 03/30/2010 1:57:49 PM PDT by bereanway (Sarah get your gun)
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To: laconic
The death of this young girl should bother more than just those who bullied her. The school staff who stood by and didn't intervene should lie awake nights soaked in sweat from nightmares for the rest of their lives.
17 posted on 03/30/2010 1:59:01 PM PDT by SoldierDad (Proud Papa of two new Army Brats! Congrats to my Soldier son and his wife.)
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To: Vermont Lt

1. It is statutory rape, hence consensual.

The boys may be over 18 now....

IMO, a glory seeking DA wanting some easy hits to boost her career.

The giveaway - in a building filled with guidance counselors, administrators up the wazoo, deputy and assistant and vice deputy principals, none of the adults in charge are cited for any incompetence or negligence?

The kids may have engaged in nasty behavior, but at a school where were the adults supposedly watching over all this.


18 posted on 03/30/2010 2:02:24 PM PDT by swarthyguy (Join ACFANS - Alleged Conservatives For A Nanny State. www.acfans.com (Ha!)
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To: swarthyguy

“....none of the adults in charge are cited for any incompetence or negligence?”

It is a modern trend. It happens frequently now accross a wide spectrum of authority. On 9-11-01 there was a hell of a lot of carnage and destruction in America accomplished with civilian air craft and no one could be found who could be charged with having let something get by them.


19 posted on 03/30/2010 2:18:43 PM PDT by TalBlack
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To: Vermont Lt

I couldn’t agree with you more.


20 posted on 03/30/2010 2:23:51 PM PDT by secret garden (Why procrastinate when you can perendinate?)
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To: pnh102

They would if that had been my daughter, just not by the judge and jury.


21 posted on 03/30/2010 2:32:21 PM PDT by MissEdie (America went to the polls on 11-4-08 and all we got was a socialist thug and a dottering old fool.)
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To: Vermont Lt

“The whole statutory rape thing, while true (she was under the age of consent) was not forced.”

That’s why it’s called statutory rape.


22 posted on 03/30/2010 2:34:04 PM PDT by stop_fascism
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To: pnh102

They would if that had been my daughter, just not by the judge and jury.


23 posted on 03/30/2010 2:36:44 PM PDT by MissEdie (America went to the polls on 11-4-08 and all we got was a socialist thug and a dottering old fool.)
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To: SoldierDad

They will have nightmares if they lose their jobs and pensions. However, it sounds like that will not happen. I have believed for a long time that sending children to public schools is a form of child abuse.


24 posted on 03/30/2010 2:38:58 PM PDT by stop_fascism
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To: stop_fascism
I cannot agree with this. I attended public schools. My children attended public schools. My grandchildren will be attending (one already is) public schools. It's not the public schools that is the problem (not in it's entirety). It's when parents turn over their children's entire education to bad public schools when there arises a problem.

FYI - all four of my children vote conservative - my 10 year old granddaughter can debate with adults on what is wrong with liberalism - she has on several occasions impressively.

25 posted on 03/30/2010 2:43:34 PM PDT by SoldierDad (Proud Papa of two new Army Brats! Congrats to my Soldier son and his wife.)
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To: swarthyguy

You have a point. This should have been handled long before it led to a death. The faculty at this school was criminally negligent. However, nothing will be done to them. Don’t want to get in a fight with the teacher’s union, don’t you know.

I can’t see any good coming out of getting these kids involved in the criminal “justice” system. It’s not going to make them grow a conscience. It will probably make them worse people than they already are.


26 posted on 03/30/2010 2:46:57 PM PDT by stop_fascism
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To: SoldierDad

My nephews, in their twenties, from Brazil do a much better job arguing in favor of personal liberty than their American peers.


27 posted on 03/30/2010 2:47:51 PM PDT by 12Gauge687 (Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice)
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To: 12Gauge687

Sadly, that’s true for far too many American children.


28 posted on 03/30/2010 2:49:45 PM PDT by SoldierDad (Proud Papa of two new Army Brats! Congrats to my Soldier son and his wife.)
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To: SoldierDad

What you seem to be saying is that good parents can mitigate the damage done to children in public schools. Undoubtedly, that is true. However, why not avoid the damage to begin with. Congrats on the new gks. Twins?


29 posted on 03/30/2010 3:02:17 PM PDT by stop_fascism
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To: Vermont Lt

I actually heard a talking so called psychiatrist say that there were probably underlying psychiatric issues with the girl.

And of course, all those animals that bulled here were all sane????????


30 posted on 03/30/2010 3:06:41 PM PDT by Carley (Are you better off than you were four trillion dollars ago?)
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To: stop_fascism

The school is about to be sued. Big time.


31 posted on 03/30/2010 3:08:43 PM PDT by Carley (Are you better off than you were four trillion dollars ago?)
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To: Carley

Amazingly, bullies usually pick on those with problems. Just like wolves picking off the weakest elk. Is that somehow supposed to make their actions better?

Where did you read about the lawsuit?


32 posted on 03/30/2010 3:16:39 PM PDT by stop_fascism
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To: swarthyguy

Excellent points.


33 posted on 03/30/2010 3:24:43 PM PDT by TNdandelion
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To: Vermont Lt

It will probably seem cold, but I still have to ask where her parent was in all of this? And yes, statutory rape usually involves consensual activity where the “minor” is not legally able to give consent, age is different from state to state. The reports have been that she dated upperclassmen, depending on the state they have different laws regarding how far apart in age constitutes statutory rape.
Having raised two teenagers, I’ve made it my business to know all of their business. There is still a double standard, girls who sleep around, are called sluts by other girls. It can get quite ugly, but someone who is acting out sexually and then kills themselves is probably having some emotional difficulties beyond the norm. If this poor child had not taken her own life, I doubt this would be a story.


34 posted on 03/30/2010 3:28:32 PM PDT by Katya (Homo Nosce Te Ipsum)
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To: Carley

There is probably some truth to what the psychiatrist is saying. One fact doesn’t excuse or wipe out the behavior of the other students. The poor treatment combined with the significant move and separation from her father may have also contributed. As a former military brat, I can tell you that some moves were harder than others and sometimes fitting in to a new school was difficult.


35 posted on 03/30/2010 3:32:02 PM PDT by TNdandelion
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To: stop_fascism

Heard that the school was lawyering up.


36 posted on 03/30/2010 3:37:06 PM PDT by Carley (Are you better off than you were four trillion dollars ago?)
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To: stop_fascism; SoldierDad

I am aware of the origins of the whole statutory rape charge. I appreciate that a girl that young, according to the law, cannot consent. There need not be any force involved. I get that.

However, my point is how horrible is it that a fifteen year old girl is having sex with multiple partners?

And, if the boys were 17 at the time of the sex, the statutory rape charge is going to be hard to convict on. The age difference and consensual nature of the relationships are going to be a tough sell for the prosecution.

There has got to be a lot more going in here than meets the eye.


37 posted on 03/30/2010 3:48:00 PM PDT by Vermont Lt (This nation, of the people, by the people, and for the people has perished from the land.)
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To: bereanway

I wonder why no one approached the parents of the other kids.

While I understand why they might have felt this was a school issue, as a parent I just dont get abdicating my responsibility to protect my kids to a school counselor. My God, that is insane.

As I said to my wife the other day, the cost of the lawsuit has got to be less than the cost of the funeral. Just one visit to the kids to scare them would have changed a lot, in my opinion.


38 posted on 03/30/2010 3:51:41 PM PDT by Vermont Lt (This nation, of the people, by the people, and for the people has perished from the land.)
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To: Vermont Lt
I completely agree that there is much wrong with any 15 year old (or any teen girl of any age) having sex with multiple partners (or having sex at all, actually). And, if the boys were 17 at the time of the sex, the statutory rape charge is going to be hard to convict on. The age difference and consensual nature of the relationships are going to be a tough sell for the prosecution.

I guess this will depend upon how the law is written where this happened.

39 posted on 03/30/2010 3:52:54 PM PDT by SoldierDad (Proud Papa of two new Army Brats! Congrats to my Soldier son and his wife.)
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To: driftdiver

I dropped the dime on a parent for hitting their child repeatedly. The kid was a friend of my kids. I found out through a text message on my daughter’s phone. I told her that either I was going over the the parents, or the cops were. There was no choice about SOMEONE checking it out.

Your head would spin at how fast MA DYS (Department of Youth Services) was at the house.

Of course, everyone denied it...but I know for a fact it hasn’t happened since. And the parent and the kid are getting the help they need.

I have a hard time believing anyone dropped a dime to the proper authorities on this one.


40 posted on 03/30/2010 3:55:28 PM PDT by Vermont Lt (This nation, of the people, by the people, and for the people has perished from the land.)
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To: stop_fascism

Unfortunately there are many people who are not in a financial position to enroll their children in private school, or who are unable to home-school. We fall into both these categories. Thus, we supplement education at home the best we can. Thus far it is working well.


41 posted on 03/30/2010 3:55:48 PM PDT by SoldierDad (Proud Papa of two new Army Brats! Congrats to my Soldier son and his wife.)
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To: SoldierDad

In MASS? My guess is that it was written some time in the 1800’s.


42 posted on 03/30/2010 3:56:10 PM PDT by Vermont Lt (This nation, of the people, by the people, and for the people has perished from the land.)
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To: NativeTxn

I live about ten minutes from the town. People talk.


43 posted on 03/30/2010 3:59:31 PM PDT by Vermont Lt (This nation, of the people, by the people, and for the people has perished from the land.)
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To: Vermont Lt

Does anyone know what the consent laws are in Mass? In Maryland it’s 16, they also have a “four year” rule, to cover high school sex...where they usually don’t charge anyone with statutory as long as they’re 18 or younger and not more than four years older.


44 posted on 03/30/2010 4:00:54 PM PDT by Katya (Homo Nosce Te Ipsum)
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To: Carley

The problem with the school is that due to the State Privacy laws, they can’t say anything.

Since all of the kids are/were minors, the school is in the position of not being able to defend itself publicly.

There are rumors in the town that are not flattering to the parents of the kids in town, but nothing substantiated.

However, if I were one of the defense attorney’s I would be doing public discovery for the next six months.

I still cannot believe that ten kids, twenty parents, and God knows how many friends, siblings, and others knew all about this. And did nothing. It just blows my mind.


45 posted on 03/30/2010 4:04:15 PM PDT by Vermont Lt (This nation, of the people, by the people, and for the people has perished from the land.)
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To: Katya
Here is the law for girls under 16. i dont know if she was under 14 when this happened, but I dont think so:

MGL c.265, s. 23A Rape and abuse of child aggravated by age difference between defendant and victim or by when committed by mandated reporters; penalties

Whoever unlawfully has sexual intercourse or unnatural sexual intercourse, and abuses a child under 16 years of age and:

(a) there exists more than a 5 year age difference between the defendant and the victim and the victim is under 12 years of age;

(b) there exists more than a 10 year age difference between the defendant and the victim where the victim is between the age of 12 and 16 years of age; or

(c) at the time of such intercourse, was a mandated reporter as defined in section 21 of chapter 119, shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for life or for any term of years, but not less than 10 years.


I am no lawyer, but I think this puts the five year rule into play.
46 posted on 03/30/2010 4:14:45 PM PDT by Vermont Lt (This nation, of the people, by the people, and for the people has perished from the land.)
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To: Vermont Lt

The boys in question are now 17 and 18, except we don’t know their ages at the time this occurred, or whether she was 14 or 15. I don’t see how either would face any jail time. In regards to the girls involved, various reports stated she was called a “slut” etc face to face, and they probably wrote even nastier things about her online.

Do people really think that’s abnormal behavior? Welcome to high school, where kids fight, and everyone hates the freshmeat. I have to wonder whether or not we are approaching the point, where Ms. Prince’s behavior should be socially accepted for the sake of political correctness.

Her suicide is tragic, but speaks to an entirely different condition.
I for one, am going to wait to hear the other side, before rushing to a “Duke-like” prosecurtorial edict.


47 posted on 03/30/2010 4:37:43 PM PDT by Katya (Homo Nosce Te Ipsum)
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To: a fool in paradise

They did attach some civil rights charges.


48 posted on 03/30/2010 6:02:18 PM PDT by cmj328 (Got ruthless?)
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To: Katya

It never ceases to amaze me how hard women are on one another. It’s fortunate that Jesus didn’t ask a woman to cast the first stone, or that story would have had a very different ending.

Yes, welcome to High school - Day prison for anyone who commits the crime of being teen-aged. Since society forces kids to be locked up in these institution of learning, it has a certain duty to make sure they are safe. We can’t just wash our hands and say “kids will be kids.”

It was pretty inconsiderate of the little slut to kill herself and ruin everyone’s prom, wasn’t it.


49 posted on 03/30/2010 9:49:47 PM PDT by stop_fascism
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It doesn’t surprise me at all that the school did nothing to stop this. My child was being bullied in middle school. I went to the administration over and over for a year. They kept telling me they were handling it and yet it continued. The first day of school the following year it began again. I finally called the mother of the offending child myself and it never happened again. She had no idea her kid was bullying, the school never contacted her. I doubt they ever even talked to the child about their behavior either. With all their talk and money spent on programs to prevent bullying they really don’t care about getting involved in resolving these issues. If you notice all the bullying prevention programs put all the responsibility on the kids and none on the adults in charge. All these are are cya programs giving lip service to school safety.


50 posted on 03/30/2010 10:32:50 PM PDT by Jenny217
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