The heartbroken father of schoolgirl Phoebe Prince has appealed to teachers to log every instance of bullying to ensure no family ever suffers like his again.
Jeremy Prince lost his daughter when 15-year-old Phoebe took her own life after she had suffered bullying by classmates at South Hadley High school in Massachusetts.
Phoebe had only recently moved to the US with her mother. Five students at the college have since been sentenced to community service or probation.
Backing a campaign to stop bullying in Irish schools, Jeremy Prince has urged teachers to take the lead in the fight against the bullies.
“Using a computer in the staffroom, teachers who witness incidents of aggression could type the aggressor and the victims’ names into a computer program which uses analysis software,” said Prince, now resident in the Clare town of Lisdoonvarna.
“This would show up the names of repeat victims and also show up the names of serial aggressors. At this point the parents should be called in.
“One of the problems with schools is parents always go on the defensive and say things like: ‘My little angel would never do something like that’ but if you had that log saying these are the witnesses and these are the dates and this is what happened it would completely eradicate that problem.”
Admitting that life is very difficult in the wake of Phoebe’s death, Prince told reporters that he still finds it difficult to discuss what happened as the family try to protect Phoebe’s 12-year-old sister from further trauma after she discovered the body.
He also revealed that the family continues to receive hundreds of letters of support from all over the world, many from victims of bullying.
Phoebe’s ashes were brought back to Ireland earlier this year by her mother Anne O’Brien, herself a schoolteacher.
The family are backing the newly formed National Anti Bullying Coalition (NABC) group which includes parents, students and teachers.
The NABC want Ireland’s Education Minister Ruairi Quinn to introduce strengthened procedures that would lead to schools being awarded a Safe School flag.
Here's a clip from CBS' report on Phoebe's death: