15-Year-Old Girl's Suicide May Have Been the Result of Cyberbullying
Photo: Mass. officials say they believe Phoebe Prince, 15, committed suicide following online attacks by classmates.
Price moved to Massachusetts last year from Ireland and appeared to be well adjusted and happy, but underneath, friends say the 15-year-old freshman was tormented...a victim of cyberbullying.
A friend, who wanted to remain unidentified, claimed, "She was being bullied because she was pretty and people were jealous."
According to a letter from phoebe's high school principal, what began as 'mean spirited comments' at school soon found their way online, something experts say is far more dangerous.
The teen was called an "Irish slut and a whore", said one of Prince's closest friends, who wants to remain anonymous.
"Cyberbullying is dangerous because it can lead to "cybermobbing", which means kids can come together to bully another kid, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week," said Meline Kevorkian, author of "101 Facts About Bullying".
Phoebe was found dead in her South Hadley home, days before a big school dance. The night after she died, fellow students held a candlelight vigil.
This isn't the first time cyberbullying ended in death. In 2006, 13-year-old Meghan Meier killed herself after being harassed on MySpace by a neighbor's mother, posing as a teenage boy. The anonymity of the internet means that parents should be even more vigilant.
"As a parent the concern has to be that we're monitoring and knowing what they're doing in the virtual world," said Kevorkian.
"It just makes me sad that it takes the life of a young teenager who had everything going for her to bring the community together to have them realize how bad bullying is, said a friend who asked to be remained unidentified.
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