Phoebe Prince would have celebrated her sweet 16th yesterday, less than a year after the South Hadley High School student took her own life.
The Prince family's lives were changed forever on the 14th of January last, after the young Irish girl committed suicide, as a result of what investigators have described as a relentless bullying campaign at that hands of her classmates.
In the wake of her death, her family have seldom commented on the tragedy, this week saw Phoebe’s father, Jeremy Prince and her aunt, Eileen Moore speaking about the devastating effects of the loss.
On Monday night in an RTE television documentary broadcast in Ireland, Jeremy said he was struggling to forgive the students who bullied his daughter.
Six former South Hadley High School students now face felony charges in connection with Ms Prince's treatment.
On Tuesday, Eileen Moore told the Today Show she is still trying to understand both why
Phoebe was the victim of bullying.
"She never talked about being bullied," Moore said.
One edition of The Republicans Plus paper yesterday featured a commemoration for Ms Prince on her birthday
"A light lost but not forgotten. Phoebe Nora Mary Prince. On this, her 16th birthday, we offer our love and support to Phoebe's family and friends."
The ad includes the dates of the teenager's birth and death as well some a Gaelic sentence and a translation: "For when shadows fall, remember, You do not walk alone."
Dan Prosser of Conway, said him and group of friends were responsible for that ad.
"We want to let them know we're thinking about them, and the people around the world are thinking about Phoebe as well," Prosser said.
"I've had problems with bullying and depression," he said. "It's sad to know I was 10 minutes away (from South Hadley) and could have helped if she needed me."
The ad will also be featured in the Clare Champion in Ireland, where Prince had lived with her family prior to immigrating to the U.S.
Birthday wished flooded one of the many Facebook commemoration pages for the teenager.
Brenda Ortiz wrote, “Happy 16th birthday, love you”.
Another person commented “Happy birthday, RIP”.
A Facebook event was also set up entitled “ A day to remember Phoebe Prince” which encouraged it's followers to wear orange and purple in remembrance of the Irish teenager on her birthday.
It's organizer, Regina White wrote on the Facebook page that “change is coming and it's all for the good! All children will be better protected because of our collective efforts to say enough”.
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