The father of a 15-year-old girl who committed suicide after months of torment at a Massachusetts high school is speaking out about the tragedy in a new documentary film.
In the film called "The Trials of Phoebe Prince" that aired on Irish television Monday, Jeremy Prince recalls his daughter Phoebe's death.
The film details the circumstances leading up to her death and, later, the bullying case in the American legal system.
Phoebe Prince moved to South Hadley, Mass., from Ireland in 2009.
Phoebe hanged herself last Jan. 14 after she was allegedly harassed by older girls at South Hadley High School, prosecutors said. Her younger sister found her body in the family's second-story apartment.
Prosecutors said she quickly became the victim of taunting through texting and Facebook by a group of girls who allegedly sought revenge because Prince had romantic relationships with their boyfriends.
"A lot of people just would always, like, taunt and tease her, just call her names," said friend Kate Broderick.
Turning a Blind Eye?
While school administrators were allegedly informed about the bullying from students and Phoebe's mother, they are accused of taking no action.
"The whole culture was wrong at that school. The school turned a blind eye," Jeremy Prince told Ireland's Evening Herald in an interview.
Six teens are facing charges in the case ranging from statutory rape to stalking. Their trials are expected to get under way in early 2011.
Following her death, the Massachusetts legislature passed a law to institute an anti-bullying curriculum.
Jeremy Prince says if the alleged bullies would just apologize he would consider an appeal to the court for leniency.
"There is no healing in anger and revenge. The only real healing in the long-term can come in finding the ability to forgive and that has been my focus from the start," Jeremy told the Irish Independent. "Believe me, it's bloody hard."