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Are Phoebe Prince's bullies 'criminals'?
Prosecuting the students who pushed Phoebe Prince to commit "bullycide" might seem like logical retribution, but it's not the answer, argues Ruth Marcus in The Washington Post
Bullying is an old phenomenon - but it's become particularly vicious in recent years
Bullying is an old phenomenon - but it's become particularly vicious in recent years
Corbis
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es, says Ruth Marcus in The Washington Post, the suicide of 15-year-old Phoebe Prince as a result of taunts from classmates should awaken us to the bullying that goes on every day at American high schools. And yes, we should take a stand against it. But the extremely severe charges facing Prince's tormentors exceed what is rightfully deserved. "To be a teenager is to do stupid things," Marcus writes. Why did "those whose brains were fully developed: the school staff who apparently knew of the harassment...not do enough to stop it?" A brief excerpt:

"One of the juveniles is charged with 'assault by means of a dangerous weapon, to wit: a bottle, can or similar beverage container' — apparently throwing a soda can at Phoebe as she walked home from school the day she died. The other charges include stalking, harassment, violation of civil rights and, my favorite, disturbance of a school assembly.

"If this sounds derisive, it's not because I doubt the seriousness of the conduct but because the specific counts underscore how clumsy a tool criminal law is to deal with such behavior. Charging nine students is casting an awfully wide net."

Read the full article at The Washington Post.

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