Fear and loathing in South Hadley over Phoebe Prince suicide
He has also received threatening letters.
Some letter writers even went as far as saying they would kill him.
But O'Brien is not prepared to give up the fight to have the school authorities exposed.
O'Brien blew the whistle on the bullying and the school's neglect of the situation after Phoebe's parents visited O'Brien's office in South Hadley. "I've never seen people so broken," shared O'Brien.
"They asked me to keep fighting the fight they couldn't," said O'Brien promising them he would do everything in his power to keep the spotlight on the school authorities.
Phoebe's parents, who are still living in South Hadley with their other children, told O'Brien they are very grateful for the support they are getting from the community.
"There are a few people helping them cope with this tragedy and they are very grateful to them," said O'Brien.
Phoebe’s mother Ann, has a brother, sister and aunt living in South Hadley.
O’Brien confirmed reports that Phoebe’s aunt visited the school last August, a month before her niece started there, to inform them that Phoebe was “susceptible to bullying” and asked them keep an eye on her.
“This school has a history of turning a blind eye to this sort of thing,” he said.
O’Brien told me a story about a mother who came to see him. Her child was also relentlessly bullied in South Hadley and after numerous reports to school authorities nothing was done.
Like Phoebe, this young girl could no longer cope. Her saving grace was that her mother got her into a hospital for treatment.
O'Brien, whose step-daughter attends South Hadley High, said the kids charged should not be left carry “all the blame.”
"It's time someone held the school authorities responsible."
And that is exactly what O'Brien intends to do.
He will not give up - despite the threats on his life.
Both O’Brien and Laughlin feel alone.
“People are backing down,” said Laughlin.
“They are becoming afraid and think if they keep quiet this will all go away and be forgotten about,” she added.
O’Brien and a gentleman by the name of Luke Gelinas, who has two children the South Hadley school system, are the last two standing on the issue.
“We had another man, Dave Leonard, whose daughter was also bullied in the school, but he died tragically in a motorcycle accident recently.”
O’Brien misses Leonard’s passion. He attended the school meetings wearing t-shirts with Phoebe’s picture on it.
“He, like me and Luke was passionate for change.”
Although feeling the pressure from the town’s people, O’Brien will continue the battle for justice.
As I continued on my journey through South Hadley, I was quickly learning that Laughlin, Clow and O’Brien were the minority in their opinions.
The towns folks were expressing their anger at the “overdramatic” (someone said this to me) attention the media are giving this story.
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