Phoebe Prince, Bullying, and Me
by Kara Miller
April 9, 2010
Phoebe Prince killed herself on January 14. Today is April 12, and her name is still in the news, both locally and nationally. Why?
Partially, of course, it's because District Attorney Elizabeth Scheibel has charged six teenagers in the case, all of whom were arraigned last week.
But there’s another – more wide-reaching – story here. A story not about violent, over-the-top bullying (the kind Prince endured) but about ordinary, run-of-the-mill bullying. Not so violent that any crime is committed. Not so horrific that school officials are clued in. But so ubiquitous that almost everyone has seen it or been targeted by it.
After all, particularly violent bullying – at least by girls – does not appear to be on the rise. Mike Males, a researcher at the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice, and Meda-Chesney Lind, a professor at the University of Hawaii, noted in The New York Times last week that the number of girls arrested for assault hit a “peak of 16,800 in 1995, then dropped sharply, to 13,300 in 2008. So, at best, claims that girls’ violence is rising apply to girls of 15 to 25 years ago, not today.”
General, non-violent harassment, though, is pervasive. And it can easily snowball...
E! Investigates Bullying - A National Epidemic
April 21, 2010, 10:00 PM, ET/PT
(Los Angeles, CA, April 7, 2010) - Every day, thousands of kids across the
country are afraid to go to school thanks to an epidemic of vicious behavior
among American teenagers. It is estimated that 20% of children are victims of
bullying. These attacks come in the form of physical and verbal abuse, as well
as by newer methods of harassment using cell phones and the internet. Once
thought to be just harmless teasing, the real-life effects of bullying can
include prolonged depression and even suicide. Recently, according to police, a
15-year-old girl in Massachusetts hung herself after being taunted by a group of
girls who posted mocking messages on their Facebook pages. This one-hour
episode sheds light on several recent stories and the tragic effects that can
result from this all-too-common behavior when E! Investigates: Bullying airs
April 21 at 10:00 PM ET/PT, only on E!.
By all accounts, Dylan Theno was a happy, well-adjusted boy in a small Kansas
community. But when he entered 7th grade, a few of Dylans fellow students
began making fun of him. For years the cruel taunts and name-calling continued.
The Thenos claim they spoke with school officials on numerous occasions to no
avail and they ultimately had to make the tough decision to pull Dylan from the
classroom. Also in this episode, E! Investigates interviews students, parents
and faculty in Calabasas, CA, to learn what really happened when red-haired kids
were suddenly singled out and attacked on the infamous Kick A Ginger Day. E!
Investigates: Bullying explores theories of what may be causing the increasingly
cruel nature of these attacks, explains how the advent of hand-held technology
has given bullies powerful new weapons, and shows what schools are and arent
doing to prevent bullying. Finally, warning signs are identified that parents
should look for if they suspect their child has become a bullying victim.
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