In a case that made international headlines, five of the six defendants charged in connection with the bullying last year of a teenage Massachusetts girl who later committed suicide have agreed to admit to a misdemeanor, and in exchange prosecutors will drop more serious charges against them, the Boston Globe reports. The teen accused of bullying 15-year-old Phoebe Prince will be allowed to admit to the lesser crime of harassment.
Prosecutors say three teens were angry with Prince because of her relationship with a teen boy, and said they relentlessly taunted her in person and on Facebook. Northeastern University criminologist James Alan Fox said, “The district attorney wanted to make a strong statement and draw a line in the said, which she did. But for so long, we ignored and tolerated bullying. And to say at this point, ‘OK, we’re going to throw the book at you’ is the wrong approach. This is the better outcome.”