The prosecutor who was responsible for bringing charges against six teenage students following the death of Phoebe Prince has said that the state’s new anti-bullying law should be toughened.
Phoebe Prince, originally from Co. Clare, was a 15-year-old student at South Hadley High School in Massachusetts. She took her own life in January 2010 after a relentless bullying campaign.
Last Wednesday, the former Northwestern District Attorney Elizabeth Scheibel testified at the Massachusetts State House before a special commission which was established to review current laws and recommend any changes.
According to current law passed last year after Prince’s death, schools are required to develop bullying prevention plans. But Scheibel, who left office in January, told the commission that laws should be toughened.
"All too often, school administrators delay or neglect to inform law enforcement about acts that occur on school property," Scheibel said.
She said that the law should be changed allowing schools to pass substantial reports of bullying onto law enforcement.
Following her testimony, the former DA told reporters that the discussion which was initiated by the suicide of Prince was a positive aspect of the tragedy.
"I know, in fact, in talking with Phoebe's family, that if there is some good to come out of it, there is not only a public debate at the local level and national level, but certainly the international (level) as well," Scheibel said.
"We need to begin to change the culture. We need to have people understand, children understand, accountability and responsibility."READ MORE- Life a struggle for six teens accused in Phoebe Prince case