News / Worried parents step up anti-bully efforts at elementary school / Click here

Students of South Hadley High School said that 15-year-old Irish girl Phoebe Prince was "chased around the perimeter of the school" while teachers did nothing shortly before she took her own life.

Some pupils who knew Prince well told the Boston Herald that she was chased by a group of bullies who weren't happy with the fact that Phoebe had a date with a senior football player.

The students also elaborated on the forms of bullying Prince underwent, including online harassment and text messages, before she hung herself in her home in South Hadley last month.

Prince, from Co. Clare but living in South Hadley, Massachusetts since last September with her family, took her own life after a tirade of verbal and cyber bullying.

And now students at South Hadley High are speaking out against the type of bullying the Irish girl suffered weeks before her death.

The Irish American mayor of nearby Waltham, Jeanette McCarthy, is taking a strong stance on bullying in schools and takes swift action  against this kind of behavior.

An 11-year-old fifth grader in Waltham was recently criminally charged with bulling classmates so severely they were "petrified" to go to school, and now parents of school kids in South Hadley are seeking similar charges to be brought against Prince's bullies.

Presently the students responsible for Prince's bullying have been suspended from school, but they have not been charged with anything.

“You have to send a message to the children who are doing it, and the children being victimized,” said McCarthy,

After McCarthy learned of the bullying in the Fitzgerald Elementary School on January 22 - a father whose son was viciously assaulted by a fifth-grader, she took immediate action, aware of the actions Prince took only a few weeks before in South Hadley allegedly because of bullying.

Moments after discovering that this boy was being bullied, McCarthy, who grew up in housing projects, sent an e-mail of the superintendent of schools outlining the bullying, ordered the school's safety officer to call the parents and take a statement and called the Waltham police.

“There are a lot of kids afraid to go to school in this world, and if you can’t go to school, where the heck can you go?" she said.

Unlike South Hadley, where Phoebe's bullies are still not being held accountable for their actions, the Waltham police charged the student in question with two counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and one count of assault with a dangerous weapon, a scissors.