The tragic suicide of County Clare teenager Phoebe Prince in South Hadley, Massachusetts has upped the pressure to hasten the state legislative process to bring in a law to prevent this happening in the future.
The teenager and her family moved to America recently and Phoebe attended South Hadley High School in Massachusetts.
The Irish girl was so affected by the harassment and bullying she received from her schoolmates that she took her own life on January 14.
“What happened in South Hadley underscores the importance of stopping bullying as rapidly as possible, so it does not spiral out of control,’’ said co chairwoman of the Joint Committee on Education and Boston Democratic Representative Martha M. Walz (D) on www.boston.com
There is a bill being drafted, and it is expected that in view of recent events that it will receive a high priority ay the next meeting of the Joint Education Committee.
It appears Prince was subjected to bullying via text messaging and throught the social networking website Facebook. Online harassment, or cyberbullying, is a difficult form of harassment to legislate, as it may not occur within the confines of school property.
“It’s very clear we need to address cyberbullying,’’ said Walz. “It’s part of school culture, even if it doesn’t happen within the four walls of a school building.’’