TV psychologist Dr Phil McGraw has revealed that students "mimicked the hanging" of Irish schoolgirl Phoebe Prince at the high school dance in South Hadley, Massachusetts that was held only two days after her death.
The revelation is another shocking detail in a case that has seen six high school students charged with helping cause her suicide and school authorities coming under nationwide scrutiny for how they reacted to it.
Appearing on the Anderson Cooper Show on CNN, Dr Phil stated that bullying expert Barbara Coloroso had confirmed the incident which occured at the winter cotillion dance which had gone ahead despite the fact that Phoebe had been found dead just days earlier.
Dr. Phil questioned why the school authorities allowed the dance to go ahead and stated that the school authorities behaved very badly during the whole bullying episode that led to her death. "They didn't tell the truth about what they knew." he stated.
Dr.Phil was referring to an interview he did with family spokesman Darby O'Brien who stated categorically that a teacher had seen Phoebe being bullied in a hallway two weeks before she hung herself.
She was left crying by two girls and the teacher had reported the episode to the school authorities but they had done nothing.
He also stated that it was "astounding how vicious and brutal" the bullying of Phoebe Prince had been and that there were many in authority who knew about it .
He said emotional and verbal abuse was often far more hurtful to young girls than actual physical abuse . "It can do much more damage" he stated.