Video: Bullies told teen to kill herself, friend says

  1. Transcript of: Bullies told teen to kill herself, friend says

    MEREDITH VIEIRA, co-host: It is a story that sends chills down the spine of any parent; 15-year-old Phoebe Prince committed suicide after she was apparently tormented by bullies at school . Now we are learning more about her final days. NBC 's Jeff Rossen is in Hadley , Massachusetts . Jeff , good morning to you.

    JEFF ROSSEN reporting: Hey, Meredith , good morning to you. These are the new court papers, 60 pages of them, and it is a chilling read. Very disturbing details about Phoebe 's final days, her final hours, how she was bullied, how she was threatened. In fact, just the day before she killed herself, according to the papers, Phoebe told a close friend quote , " School has become close to intolerable lately." But most disturbing of all, what happened to her, what she went through in those final hours. This is our first glimpse at one of the alleged bullies , the so-called " mean girls " of South Hadley High . Sharon , is there anything you want to say to Phoebe 's family ?

    Unidentified Man: No comments, no comment, thank you very much .

    ROSSEN: Anything you'd like to say to the family ?

    Man: No comment. No comment. Thank you, guys.

    ROSSEN: Sharon Chanon Velazquez showed up at a Massachusetts courthouse Thursday, charged along with several other girls and two boys, with felonies. They all plead not guilty this week, accused of bullying 15-year-old Phoebe Prince to death. Phoebe hanged herself at home to escape the torment at school . In new court papers obtained by NBC News , new details of Phoebe 's tortuous final days. For months, the bullies called her a "stupid expletive" and a "whore," threatening to "punch Ms. Prince in the face." According to the papers, the bullies cornered Phoebe in the school bathroom and at Latin class, screaming at her. Prosecutors say the mean girls were jealous of Phoebe because she had dated two boys they liked, one of them the school 's star football player. Those boys are now charged with statutory rape . The mean girls allegedly told Phoebe , " Stay away from people's men." Classmates say it was so blatant, almost everyone knew. What would they call her?

    Mr. SERGIO LOUBRIEL (Friend of Phoebe Prince): A slut and an Irish whore.

    ROSSEN: And it was about to get even worse . Just hours before Phoebe committed suicide , court papers say the bullies confronted her in the school library yelling, "Close your legs, I hate stupid sluts." As Phoebe walked home that day, the final chapter .

    Mr. DARBY O'BRIEN (Victim's Family Friend): And you got a car with a couple of kids in it, chucks a drink out the window, calls her an Irish slut, an Irish whore, `why don't you go kill yourself ?' And she did.

    ROSSEN: News of Phoebe 's tragic death spread all the way to her childhood home in Ireland . Phoebe lived in this quaint Irish village for years and only moved to Massachusetts recently. From a toddler with so much potential to a teenager, Phoebe 's friends in Ireland describe her as bright, but sensitive, a bookworm.

    Ms. BREEGE QUEALLY (Phoebe Prince's Former Teacher): She was self-motivated, as I say, very, very, very creative, loved to achieve, loved to get on well and had no problems with the other girls or boys.

    ROSSEN: Phoebe 's village in the Irish countryside is her final resting place . Public outrage here in Massachusetts is growing. The alleged bullies are now being bullied themselves, Meredith . In fact, there are several Web sites that have popped up targeting these alleged bullies with nasty messages, nasty pictures and some of their lawyers are now saying they're getting physical threats. So really no one, no one wins here.

updated 4/9/2010 1:24:30 PM ET 2010-04-09T17:24:30

Phoebe Prince, the Massachusetts high school freshman who took her own life after what prosecutors called relentless bullying by classmates, spoke to a school administrator one week before her death about a threat of physical violence, court documents reveal.

The documents, filed in connection with charges against six South Hadley High School students, raise new questions about how much school officials knew about the bullying. They also provide a glimpse into the final, tortured hours of Prince's life shortly before the 15-year-old hanged herself at home Jan. 14.

On Jan. 7, according to the documents, Prince went to a school administrator after learning that one of the defendants, Flannery Mullins, had told fellow students that she was going to "beat Phoebe up" and that she "needed to watch out at break after second block."

The documents do not reveal the official to whom Prince spoke or provide details of the conversation.

A witness who was interviewed by investigators said Prince had gone to administrators because she was "scared and wanted to go home." After the meeting, the witness said Prince returned to class, and said that no action was going to be taken and that "she was still going to get beat up."

Reported to principal
In a recent interview, Superintendent Gus Sayer said school administrators were not aware of the bullying until Jan. 7, a week before Prince committed suicide. On that day, two teachers reported separate bullying incidents to the principal, Sayer said.

In one incident, a student walked into Prince's classroom and yelled at her. In the other, a teacher overheard several students in the cafeteria making remarks about Prince "that appeared to be threatening."

"Even though they weren't made to her directly, he reported that to the principal," Sayer said.

The principal "took immediately disciplinary action against both students," Sayer said. He would not say what kind of action was taken, citing school privacy rules.

A message left with Sayer on Friday was not immediately returned. The six charged teens, their families and their attorneys have not commented to The Associated Press. Messages left Friday with the teenagers' lawyers and an attorney representing the Prince family were not immediately returned.

District Attorney Elizabeth Scheibel has said the inaction of school officials was troublesome but not criminal.

Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick told WTKK Radio on Friday that "adults did not seem to have acted like adults" in the case. He did not distinguish between school administrators and the parents of the teens charged.

Verbal assaults
Prosecutors said Prince, an Irish immigrant, endured months of verbal assaults and threats after she briefly dated a popular boy. She was harassed mostly in school, but also on Facebook and through other electronic forms.

The insults included being called an "Irish slut," the papers say.

The documents detail in length the final 24 hours of the girl's life. On Jan. 13, Prince told a confidant that school "has been close to intolerable lately."

On the day of her death, according to the documents, Prince was in the school library at the same time as three of the charged teens — Sean Mulveyhill, Kayla Narey and Ashley Longe.

Witnesses told investigators that Prince was subjected to crude sexual taunts from Longe, including, that day, "Irish whore."

At the end of the school day Jan. 14, witnesses said Prince was again subjected to verbal abuse as she walked out of the building. After Prince had left school grounds, a witness said Longe, as she rode by in a friend's car, threw an empty beverage can at Prince and started laughing.

According to the documents, Prince was crying as she walked home. Investigators said she exchanged several text messages with a friend about two hours before her death, in which she discussed the verbal abuse she had received that day and the ongoing taunts.

Later in the day, Prince's body was found hanging in a rear stairwell of her family's apartment.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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