The 15-year-old Irish immigrant hanged herself after she was harassed for dating boys who had gone out with her Massachusetts high-school tormentors.
Phoebe Prince‘s suicide shocked the nation when it was revealed that she felt she was driven to kill herself in the face of unrelenting taunting and name-calling by her classmates at South Hadley High School. Now five of the six teens accused of driving the freshman to suicide are pleading guilty in the case — sparing her family the agony of further court proceedings.
Prosecutors say the five — along with another teen who still faces charges — carried out “systematic bullying” of Phoebe, who killed herself in a stairwell of her family’s home on Jan. 14, 2010 — after weeks of ridicule and teasing. On her last day alive, she was tormented in the school library and as she walked home crying.
With the plea deals, Phoebe’s grief-stricken family can avoid having to endure more hearings and possible trials. The teen suspects have to admit that their harassment of Phoebe amounted to crimes.