On May 4th and 5th, five of Phoebe Prince’s “mean girl” and guy bullies- the high school students, who drove the sweet 15 year-old to hang herself, got away with “murder”, when they pled guilty to misdemeanor criminal harassment received a bare minimum of punishment.
Under a plea deal arranged by District Attorney Elizabeth Scheibel and agreed to by the presiding Judge Jeffrey KInder – two of the chief bullies, were absolved of their “crimes”, with almost no consequence.
Former Football team captain, Sean Mulveyhill, 18, who first dated Phoebe and then tormented her, received only a year of probation and community service. While “mean girl” ringleader Kayla Narey, 18, only received a “continued without a finding”, which means that if she stays out of trouble for the next year, she’ll have no criminal record.
In other words, the nine fellow students at South Hadley High school in Hadley, Massachusetts, will be able to go on with their lives while she lies in her grave and her family grieves.
They and teenagers like them wil see that you can call a 15 year-old girl “Irish slut” and “whore” on Twitter, Craigslist, and Facebook. You can knock her books out of her hands, throw cans of soda at her, send threatening text messages to her, shove her into lockers, and encourage her to kill herself, and you will pay a very small price for instilling so much terror and humiliation that a young girl would be depressed and hopeless enough to take her own life.
When Phoebe Prince hung herself on January, 14, 2010, she had been bullied relentlessly for months after briefly dating Sean Mulveyhill and arousing the ire of his off, then on girlfriend, Kayla Narey.
Sean, Kayla and their seven co-conspirators and yes this was a conspiracy- they all worked toegteher to torture Phoebe as much and from as many different angles as they could- were even coldy cruel after her shocking death.
They actually posted vicious comments on her Facebook memorial page . They had no remorse.
Now that they’ve been subjected to criminal charges, court appearrances and public exposure- are they even sorry?
Only one of the defendants actually apologized in court- Kayla Narey, 17, who cried as she addressed Phoebe’s family and Phoebe herself:
“Phoebe… I’m sorry,” she said. “I’m sorry for the unkind words I said about you. I’m sorry for what I wrote on my Facebook page. Most of all I’m sorry for Jan. 14, in the library and in the hallway, when I laughed when someone was shouting humiliating things about you. I am immensely ashamed of myself.”
Only one other defendant, Ashley Longe, 18, has apologized to Phoebe’s mother.
Nine bullies, one dead 15 year-old and only two apologies. No jail sentances.
Shockingly, no stern message has been sent to teenage bullies, with this case.
I understand that these were teens but they were old enough to plan and execute a non-stop campaign of harassment that included verbal and physical abuse. “Phoebe was so terrified of the girls involved that she walked between people in the halls of South Hadley High School, in case they jumped her,” her mother Anne O’Brien, said in court.
Punishment exists to send a message to those charged with a crime and to be a deterrent to others.
These bullies weren’t punished. They got no time for their crime and only 100 hours of community service.
Lindsey Lohan has had a tougher sentence than these nine and she wasn’t responsible for anybody dying.
I think 30 days- a full 30, not time out for overcrowding- and three times the hours of community service- would have sent a real message to these bullies and others.If we don’t want teen bullies to grow up and into adult bullies, they have to know that their behavior won’t be tolerated. Not for a moment!
Phoebe’s mother, Anne, showed the kind of compassion, never allotted to her daughter, when she signed off on the plea deals.
But did the nine defendants even truly hear her pain- “there is a dead weight that now sits permanently in my chest. It is an unbearable pain and it will stay with me until my own death. I would not wish this kind of pain on any parent. It is torture!,” she told the court.
A daughter and her mother tortured, while nine defendants get off with a slap on the wrist. It is shameful!
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