Worried parents are stepping up anti-bullying efforts in the wake of tragic Phoebe Prince's suicide.
Irish teenager Phoebe, 15, took her own life, after alleged bullying at school in South Hadley, MA.
Now, parents at Fitzgerald Elementary school in nearby town Waltham, are trying to crack down on would-be bullies before they move on to high school.
An 11-year-old girl, who has not been identified, has been criminally charged with two counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon – a foot and a locker door- and one count of assault with a dangerous weapon - a pair of scissors after allegedly victimizing two children.
The child has been removed from the school, although it is still unclear whether the child has been suspended or expelled.
Irish American Mayor of Waltham, Jeannette McCarthy, says she wants to take a strong stance on bullying in schools.
McCarthy alerted the school about the bullying and called for immediate action to be taken.
“You have to send a message to the children who are doing it, and the children being victimized,” said McCarthy,
Like in South Hadley, parents in Waltham had questions for the school’s superintendent, Peter Azar.
“My daughter is in the classroom where this little girl was expelled, and she wants to know if her criminal record will be affected for the rest of her life,” said Irene Signorello.
Another parent said school officials have not been consistent in their handling of the alleged bully, and now parent are more anxious.
She said it was only when McCarthy got involved was the child removed.
Phoebe, from Co. Clare but living in South Hadley, Massachusetts since last September with her family, took her own life after a tirade of verbal and cyber bullying.
Just days before her death the teenager was targeted and chased around the perimeter of the school.
She was also bombarded with abusive messages, text messages and Facebook comments.
Charges have still not been filed against the students believed to have been involved in the bullying.
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