An independent movie about teen suicide entitled “To Save a Life” debuted in South Hadley on Friday and will run for a few days.
Phoebe Prince, 15, was bullied by classmates at South Hadley High School, where she was the subject of harassment both inside and outside the school.
Outside of the classroom, the bullying continued via text messages to her phone and nasty comments on her Facebook homepage.
The abuse drove the Irish teenager to commit suicide in January. Prince, originally from Co. Clare, moved to South Hadley with her family at the end of last summer. She was buried in Ireland at the end of January.
The movie is being shown in South Hadley’s Tower Theater and the town’s people hope it relays the message it’s supposed to.
"It shows a side of a tragedy like this. It shows a very hopeful side to it, and that things can be done about it," said South Hadley High School Sophomore Kyle Whelihan.
Meanwhile members of the Irish American community in South Hadley, Massachusetts organized a successful fundraiser last weekend in memory of Irish teenager Phoebe Prince, who took her own life in January.
Patricia Smith, along with her daughter Susan Smith, organized the event, which raised a substantial amount of money for a scholarship in Phoebe’s name.
"We just wanted to show support for her family, so that they know we care and we are so sorry this has happened," said Smith, who lives in South Hadley and was heartbroken to discover the young Irish girl took her own life.
"The community is devastated by the loss of this young girl and we wanted to do something.
“The outpouring of support we have received has come from all over the state, not just South Hadley. We have people here from Holyoke, Springfield, Chicopee and Boston. I think this has devastated an entire community," said Smith.
President of the Hampden and Hampshire counties division of the Ancient Order of Hibernians Paul Hogan said his organization is working closely with state lawmakers to help pass a law that would hold school administrators responsible for disciplining students involved in bullying.
Said Hogan, "We think it's important that this issue is addressed across the state and the country.
"These kids growing up now will be running the country in the future, and they need to be taught a different lesson about how to treat each other."
The students responsible for the bullying have been expelled from the school but the issue of bullying and suicide still remains in the minds of many people.