Author Topic: Were You Bullied In School?  (Read 7231 times)

Offline David In Indy

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Were You Bullied In School?
« on: April 03, 2010, 03:43:15 am »
Did you get bullied in school? And if so, did you contemplate committing suicide at the time?


Tough Questions Linger in Wake of Bullying Tragedy

(Apr. 2) -- Bullying is no longer child's play.

Since Phoebe Prince's death, only that much is clear. On Jan. 14, the 15-year-old freshman at South Hadley High School in Massachusetts could take no more of the taunting. So she hanged herself, ending her life and launching a thousand questions about how her schoolyard harassment had turned deadly.

Prince's parents and friends say she was chased to her grave by a gang-like clique of her peers that launched a three-month campaign of harassment and slander against the teen after she briefly dated a popular football player. The attacks she suffered were by all accounts particularly vicious, and included everything from being called a "druggie" and a "slut" to being stalked by "gangs" of girls who at one point threw an energy drink at her head.



Nine students have been accused of harassing Phoebe Prince, 15,
before her Jan. 14 suicide.



Even in death, her tormentors would not relent. In the days after Prince committed suicide, some of them continued to mock the teenager on Facebook.

School bullying is nothing new. But since Prince's suicide, it has taken on a much darker significance, one that prosecutors are taking seriously. On Monday, criminal charges were brought against the nine students who allegedly led the harassment. And parents and school administrators in South Hadley are under intense scrutiny as well. They face tough questions about what happened to Prince and whether they could have done more to prevent her death.

1. What did school officials know about the bullying, and when did they know it?

Under fire from prosecutors and angry parents, South Hadley school officials are defending their handling of the case and insist they were unaware of any bullying until one week before Prince committed suicide.

"The message is that we as a society are not going to sit back and allow the incessant, nonstop bullying of children which can lead us to such tragic consequences as what happened to Phoebe Prince," Plymouth, Mass., District Attorney Timothy Cruz, who plans to prosecute school officials, told the Boston Herald earlier this week.

But South Hadley Superintendent Gus Sayer says the district did all it could.

"The kids have a way of communicating with each other without us knowing about it," Sayer told The Boston Globe this week. "They really have their own world.''

That answer doesn't satisfy everyone. According to reports from students and Prince's parents, Prince had been bullied for months. They say the harassment was blatant and took place on school grounds, and insist that the district is partly to blame for not doing something to stop it sooner.

"If teachers truly didn't know of the bullying until a week before the suicide, how might they have learned earlier?" The Globe asked in an editorial this morning. "If some knew and failed to take sufficient action, what might have prompted them to do so?"

The Globe called "protecting the well-being of students" a "core function of schools" that "didn't happen in this case."

2. Did the abuse happen on school grounds?

In January, Sayer insisted to The Boston Globe that "the real problem now is the texting stuff and the cyberbullying,'' the kind of harassment that can be difficult for schools to put an end to. But if most of the bullying Prince suffered happened in person, on school grounds, some say the school district is in real hot water.

The Atlantic's Wendy Kaminer, for example, wrote that "old-fashioned, in-person harassment and stalking -- not cyberbullying -- allegedly drove Prince to suicide, and, if these allegations are true, then old-fashioned criminal laws can bring her abusers to justice."

3. How did school officials discipline Prince's bullies?

A Facebook page with more than 37,000 fans has cropped up in recent months demanding that the school "expel the three girls who caused Phoebe Prince to commit suicide." But once the school found out about the abuse, it's not clear what action it took against Prince's alleged bullies.

The New York Times reports that many of the students accused of harassing Prince remained in school until this week, when nine of them were charged by the prosecutor. Only a few of the accused bullies were "removed from the school" earlier this year, the South Hadley school district told the Times. And officials so far refuse to say what their punishment was.

4. Is the town of South Hadley serious about stopping the bullying?

Prince's death has sparked anger and inspired a renewed push for anti-bullying legislation around the country. So some observers think it's odd that the town of South Hadley is protecting its school officials from scrutiny instead of calling for their heads.

For example, Slate magazine's Emily Bazelon, who has been covering the case, says adults in South Hadley would rather move on than accept responsibility for Prince's death.

"Recall that [anti-bullying] task force meeting in February," she said. "Protesters were expected to call for the superintendent and the principals' resignations. Instead, the school district's supporters came en masse. They handed out 'I Support Dan Smith' stickers and gave the principal a standing ovation," Bazelon wrote, referring to South Hadley High School's principal. "Some people sat stony-faced, but the majority clapped."

5. Are we in denial about "mean girls"?

Besides Prince's death itself, many say the most disturbing part of the case is the viciousness of the harassment. In January, Boston Globe columnist Kevin Cullen said the town of South Hadley -- like much of the country -- is in denial about the viciousness that exists among adolescent girls.

"Kids can be mean, but the Mean Girls took it to another level," Cullen wrote, referring to a popular movie that documents a similar kind of harassment. "They followed Phoebe around, calling her a slut. When they wanted to be more specific, they called her an Irish slut. ... You would think this would give the bullies who hounded Phoebe some pause. Instead, they went on Facebook and mocked her in death."

But is that evidence, as some have suggested, that there's a "mean girl" epidemic afoot? No way, argue scholars Mike Miles and Meda-Chesney Lind in a New York Times op-ed. They take a hard look at crime data and point out "every reliable measure shows that violence by girls has been plummeting for years."



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Offline David In Indy

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Re: Were You Bullied In School?
« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2010, 03:46:05 am »
Yes. And yes.

Yes I was bullied in school and yes I contemplated suicide.

What can we do about our youth going through this sort of thing now? 

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Offline tampatalon

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Re: Were You Bullied In School?
« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2010, 03:58:17 am »
I am not sure if I was bullied because I would bullie the smartass right back.
They would be shocked.

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Offline Sheriff Roland

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Re: Were You Bullied In School?
« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2010, 07:11:25 am »
I answered 'yes bullied, but did not contemplate suicide'

However...

My bullying was more in the form of taunting - teasing - cause I spent more time with the girls and their games than I did with the boys and theirs - and it was pretty much limited to elementary school (grades 1- 8 ). Even my grade 6 teacher (in his freshman year, thinking maybe it was just a nickname) called me the same name 'Fifi' as the boys in school.

I talked to my mother about this situation - that I wasn't happy with it - and she suggested I talk to the teacher ... It was very difficult for me to confront him, my first male teacher but he did stop using the 'nickname'.
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Offline Sophia

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Re: Were You Bullied In School?
« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2010, 07:45:56 am »
Thank you all for telling your situation how it was, thats very strong of you!  :)

Offline Berit

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Re: Were You Bullied In School?
« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2010, 10:30:38 am »
Oh yes, I was fat and I was bullied......for 9 years I was bullied.....but I never contemplated suicide - or, I sometimes thougth that "I'll kill myself and then thy will be sorry" but never seriously contemplated suicide. But there is still people I don't want to talk to, 40 years later......they took away my pride for myself, my self esteem (SP?) lots and lots of trust.....they hurt me deep down in my soul just because I was fat......

I'm still fat. I now know that this only mean that there is more of me you all can like  O0 :laugh: :laugh:
« Last Edit: April 03, 2010, 12:07:40 pm by Berit »
Ennis.....always Ennis.....

Offline Kelda

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Re: Were You Bullied In School?
« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2010, 11:14:24 am »
i was bullied but never ever contemplated suicide
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Offline southendmd

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Re: Were You Bullied In School?
« Reply #7 on: April 03, 2010, 11:48:06 am »
Yes, Berit, we love all of you!

Like Roland, I too was bullied for hanging out with the girls.  Also, for being more bookish than athletic.  Kids can be extremely cruel to one another.  It's particularly egregious when adults, teachers or priests, either join in or do nothing about the bullying. 

I wasn't suicidal, however.  I tended to react stoney-faced and was determined not to let it get to me. 

Offline CellarDweller

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Re: Were You Bullied In School?
« Reply #8 on: April 03, 2010, 02:21:16 pm »
Yes I was bullied in school and yes I contemplated suicide.

I voted the same way, but I didn't contemplate suicide until after I graduated high school.

The bullying started for me in grade school, and was the typical name-calling and such.  When I got to Jr. High, it became physical.  I would get punched, shoved into walls, pushed up stairs, slapped around in study hall, and physically intimidated.

I got through high school, and thought I was free.  I started a new job, and unfortunately, a few of the jerks I went to school with got hired there as well, and that's when the abuse started at work.  Name calling again (in front of customers) and the basement and men's room were both filled with grafitti about me and various sex acts I was fond of (taking it up the ass).

Management wouldn't pay to have the rooms repaited as "it would only happen again".

::)

One day I had enough, and took a bottle of sleeping pills home.  I ended up flushing them down the toilet.


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Offline tampatalon

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Re: Were You Bullied In School?
« Reply #9 on: April 04, 2010, 04:53:32 am »
I am said to hear these stories.

TampaTalon^">
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