Family friends of Phoebe Prince have spoken out against the latest reports, in Slate magazine, yesterday which claimed that Phoebe was a bully when she lived in Ireland.
A father of two students at South Hadley High, Luke Gelinas, said "There’s one step from the sublime to the ridiculous and she hasn’t just taken a step here - she’s taken a giant leap across that line…This is just tabloid blogging. She’s doing it for her own fame and glory.”
Gelinas referred to the report by Slate magazine's editor, and attorney, Emily Bazelon. The editor had already been in the firing line over her harsh portrayal of the 15-year-old who committed suicide this January after two months of relentless bullying.
Prince had recently moved from County Clare to South Hadley, Massachusetts. Six youths are due to stand trial for driving her to suicide through bullying.
In Bazelon's report yesterday she said "In the seventh grade [when she was in Ireland] she acted like a bully, not a victim.” The report said that Phoebe was part of a gang of bullies from March to June 2008.
Darby O’Brien, a South Hadley parent and Prince family friend, said he believes that the piece is a tactic by the defense to poison potential jurors.
“What does Ireland have to do with South Hadley?” said O'Brien, speaking to the Boston Globe. “It has nothing to do with what happened in South Hadley.”
In the incidence of bullying in Ireland where Prince was involved she was the only child who came forward and apologized when the Principal intervened.
O'Brien said "Unfortunately here, you’ve got a child that is dead and six kids who have had some very serious charges thrown at them."