Friday 26 May 2017

Tragic Phoebe 'bullied before moving to US'

Victim Phoebe Prince
Victim Phoebe Prince
Breda Heffernan

Breda Heffernan

TRAGIC student Phoebe Prince, who took her own life after suffering months of bullying at an American high school, was also bullied in Ireland, it was claimed last night.

A family friend has alleged Phoebe's aunt told school authorities in Boston that the 15-year-old had endured bullying in Ireland and was "susceptible" to being picked on.

The revelation comes as three more teenagers are due before a juvenile court today on charges including civil rights violations and stalking Phoebe.

Phoebe moved from Co Clare to Boston with her family last year and enrolled at South Hadley High School where she was targeted by bullies following a brief relationship with a football player. She was found hanging in the family's apartment on January 14 last.

The teenager had endured a campaign of abuse which included verbal insults, threats of physical harm, online bullying and abusive text messages.

A total of six students have been charged in connection with bullying Phoebe in a case which has attracted huge public interest in the US.

Darby O'Brien, a friend of the Prince family, said her aunt, Eileen Moore, spoke to a school official prior to her niece's enrollment asking him to look out for the teenager.

It is claimed that Ms Moore told the official that Phoebe was picked on in Ireland and was susceptible to bullying.

The school has denied it was aware of the bullying, although it recently emerged that Phoebe's mother, Anne O'Brien Prince, discussed her daughter's difficulties with at least two members of staff.

District attorney Elizabeth Scheibel said an investigation had revealed "relentless" bullying which was designed to humiliate Phoebe and make it impossible for her to remain at school. Three teenagers were due before Hampshire Superior Court earlier this week. However Sean Mulveyhill (17), Kayla Narey (17), and Austin Renaud (18) did not appear in person and instead their lawyers entered not guilty pleas on their behalf.

Violation

Mulveyhill and Renaud have both been charged with statutory rape, while Mulveyhill and Narey have been charged with violation of civil rights resulting in bodily injury, criminal harassment and disturbance of a school assembly.

Meanwhile, the three remaining teenagers charged in relation to the case, Flannery Mullins, Sharon Chanon Velazquez and Ashley Longe, all aged 16, are due before Hampshire Franklin Juvenile Court in Hadley today.

Irish Independent

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