Phoebe Prince's mother, Anne O'Brien, breaks her silence- Emotional appearance on CNN's Piers Morgan -VIDEO
By: Niall O'Dowd | Published Thursday, December 1, 2011, 12:00 PM | Updated Thursday, December 1, 2011, 12:00 PM
It was heartbreaking to watch Anne O'Brien, Phoebe Prince's mother give her first TV interview on the CNN show Piers Morgan Tonight.
Dressed in black, she was clearly still deeply grieving for her 15-year-old daughter who was badly bullied and committed suicide in January 2010 after moving to Massachusetts from Ireland and attending school at South Hadley High.
At several points in the interview there were tears in her eyes and a hesitancy in her answers.
She retained a dignified presence but clearly the death of her daughter has changed her life forever.
As she has said about Phoebe “It is impossible to measure the impact of Phoebe’s death upon our lives, “There will be no more reading to Phoebe, no more hearing her lovely soprano voice.
“How do you measure a future that should have been rightfully hers? Phoebe was a beautiful, intelligent, gregarious daughter, with a kind heart, able to show compassion for others.
Asked by Piers Morgan if she hoped that Phoebe's death changed anything she said;
"Ideally I'd like it to be that children treat each other in a more civilized fashion but I'm not too hopeful about that."
"I think to say oh yes, everything is going to be different to each other because of Phoebe is naive.
Last May, five former South Hadley High School students – Ashley Longe, Flannery Mullins Sean Mulveyhill, Kyla Narey and Sharon Velazquez – were found guilty of misdemeanor counts in the Prince bullying case.
"It's - that level of aggression towards another human being is just beyond my understanding," she said.
"It was almost planned.
"It is astounding that there never was a stop mechanism..an internal stop mechanism for some of tese kids to say this is going too far.But I also think the culture in the school helped enable that."
However, she said that the new bullying legislation, known as Phoebe's law, which mandates that schools treat the issue far more seriously, will be her daughter's legacy.
She paid a moving tribute to former DA Elizabeth Scheibel who pursued the bullying charges and forced a trial for her role in that and the new Phoebe law.
But she had contempt for school authorities who allowed the bullying to continue.
School Superintendent Gus Sayer was especially responsible.
"It was very painful because you realize as a parent no matter what I did, no matter how many times I called the school, no matter how many people I might have spoken to there, that she didn't stand a chance there."
“The school personnel will never be held accountable,’’ she previously told the Boston Globe . “It’s unfair.’’
She also drew differences between the defendants and their reaction to Phoebe's death.
"All we ever wanted,’’ O’Brien has said is “For these kids to take ownership of what they did, and to show genuine remorse."
Some clearly did, some did not.
They can get on with their lives, but it is clear Anne O'Brien is stuck in a lonely devastating place.
By telling her story last night however, she once again helped children everywhere who are being bullied by coming forward and focusing on an issue that needs to be addressed.