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THIS Makes You Well Adjusted??

March 30, 2010

From the New York Times:

The prosecutor brought charges Monday against nine teenagers, saying their taunting and physical threats were beyond the pale and led the freshman, Phoebe Prince, to hang herself from a stairwell in January.

In the Prince case, two boys and four girls, ages 16 to 18, face a different mix of felony charges that include statutory rape, violation of civil rights with bodily injury, harassment, stalking and disturbing a school assembly. Three younger girls have been charged in juvenile court, Elizabeth D. Scheibel, the Northwestern district attorney, said at a news conference in Northampton, Mass.

Appearing with state and local police officials on Monday, Ms. Scheibel said that Ms. Prince’s suicide came after nearly three months of severe taunting and physical threats by a cluster of fellow students.

“The investigation revealed relentless activities directed toward Phoebe to make it impossible for her to stay at school,” Ms. Scheibel said. The conduct of those charged, she said, “far exceeded the limits of normal teenage relationship-related quarrels.”

It was particularly alarming, the district attorney said, that some teachers, administrators and other staff members at the school were aware of the harassment but did not stop it. “The actions or inactions of some adults at the school were troublesome,” Ms. Scheibel said, but did not violate any laws.

“She was new and she was from a different country, and she didn’t really know the school very well,” Ms. Dunn said. “I think that’s probably one reason why they chose Phoebe.”

On Jan. 14, the investigation found, students abused her in the school library, the lunchroom and the hallways and threw a canned drink at her as she walked home. Her sister found her hanging from a stairwell at home, still in her school clothes, at 4:30 p.m.

Some of the students plotted against Ms. Prince on the Internet, using social networking sites, but the main abuse was at school, the prosecutor said.

“The actions of these students were primarily conducted on school grounds during school hours and while school was in session,” Ms. Scheibel said.

When people tell you that your kids need to go to school to be socialized, THIS is the environment that they believe socializes them. Don’t let them kid you about healthy interactions, it’s the bullying that is supposed to mold you. I’ve seen it pretty much every time someone has brought the subject up with me. They believe that bullying “toughens you up” – even though all research on the subject points the other way. Even my own mother felt this way! She actually said to me that kids have to get kicked around in order to learn to stand up to it as an adult.

Of course, to support their position, they have to ignore cases like this.

If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.
Albert Einstein

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