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Teen’s suicide prompts study of cyber-bullying


A western Massachusetts town is organizing efforts to address digital abuse in response to a teen resident’s suicide on Jan. 14 that is believed to have been partly the result of cyber bullying, MTV reports. Phoebe Prince, a 15-year-old freshman at South Hadley High School, immigrated with her family from Ireland to South Hadley, Mass., last fall. The digital abuse allegedly began after disagreements involving a romantic relationship at school, and it escalated into non-stop text and Facebook harassment from multiple people in the weeks leading up to her death. A recent MTV/AP study found that digital abuse is taking a serious emotional toll on teens. According to the study, young people who are victims of cyber bullying are more than twice as likely to have contemplated suicide. On Jan. 27, in response to an outpouring of letters from concerned residents, the South Hadley School Committee will review digital abuse response plans for its local schools. Additionally, the district’s high school has formed an anti-bullying task force that will meet regularly in the coming weeks…

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