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Slate Takes a Closer Look at the Tragedy of a Bullied Teenager

A Slate report delves into the case of Phoebe Prince and the teenagers accused of driving her to suicide.

The suicide of Phoebe Prince was one of those events that set off shock waves in popular culture. Prince, a new student at a Massachusetts high school, killed herself after being viciously taunted in person and on Facebook by a posse of Mean Girls. Long before the facts were clear, the case sparked a torrent of commentary and analysis about the cyber-bullying, the cruelty of teenage girls, and the question of who should be held accountable for the tragedy. A few months later, the district attorney, Elizabeth Scheibel, filed criminal charges against six students.

Slate’s Emily Bazelon has pushed beyond the headlines, and her fascinating three-part series demonstrates how little we learn from initial reports on such cases. Bazelon’s stories raise serious questions about whether prosecution is the appropriate response to what happened.

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