Phoebe Prince arraignments — Episode 1
Ok, first group of teens alleged to have been the perpetrators in the Phoebe Prince bullying/suicide case have been “arraigned” by proxy. Not a surprise but neither of the three showed up in court today, but were represented instead by their attorneys.
The next batch is due for their first day in court on Thursday.
According to the Boston Globe, the hearing attracted quite a bit of media, and I suspect this will be true as the case(s) progress.
Are many of you surprised that the teens are being tried as adults? This morning, the Today Show weighed in to discuss how, because they are being tried as adults, this event could mark the teens for the rest of their lives.
Yeah, so? Actions have consequences. Sometimes lasting ones. Look at Phoebe Prince, her family and friends. They will forever be affected by this incident. Even if she hadn’t killed herself, Phoebe may have still suffered lifelong effects from this horrific incident of bullying. As the quote we use in our SocialSmarts curriculum goes, “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words can break my heart.” I know of people who now still suffer symptoms much like those seen with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder as a result of harassment and bullying they experienced as a child.
But back to the “lasting effects” for the alleged perps. I’m sorry, but I believe that, if they really did participate in this crime to the level that it is described that they did, they SHOULD feel lasting effects. This should not be something you just squeak by with a “gee, I’m sorry, it’ll never happen again” and life goes on as if it didn’t. They are old enough to know better, they are old enough to have been able to resist this kind of treatment of another person. Now, whether they feel they are to blame or not, (and the evidence has yet to be proven out so I’m HOPING they are not guilty as they pled today), a young woman is dead because she felt she had no other recourse than to take her own life to end the harassment and humiliation.
I wouldn’t want ANY hand in that, in any way shape or form, implicit, explicit or otherwise and if it was even HINTED that I’d somehow been involved in something that caused someone to kill themselves, you can bet I’d be suffering “lasting effects,” too.
Let’s see what Episode 2 brings on Thursday.