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2010 Shows

 
The suicide of 15-year-old Phoebe Prince has rocked the Massachusetts town of Northampton and shined a spotlight on the increasing problem of school bullying. Police say nine students have been indicted in what was described as a months-long campaign of bullying that allegedly led to her death in January. Reports say the teen, who recently relocated from Ireland, was subjected to a torturous day of verbal harassment and physical abuse in front of students and faculty before she took her own life. Why didn’t anyone report the bullying or stop it? Dr. Phil examines this tragic story and highlights the issues students face today. How many more young people have to suffer in silence at the hands of bullies? The alarming rise in the number of teens taking their own lives is leaving parents desperate for answers. Could you be missing cues that your child is in trouble? Do you know what is happening at your child’s school? Don’t miss this compelling show.

Find out what happened on the show.
Comments
Replied By: jolenemarie on Jun 15, 2011, 12:24PM
My daughter was bullied her first year at middle school.  She was stabbed in the hand, the authorities did nothing about it.  The school did nothing about it.  I went to the parents of the boy that did the stabbing and they refused to acknowledge it although it was reported to the police and she had to be taken to emergency.  Then while at school a few weeks later she was thrown down on the school property and her jeans were cut off of her because they were not the right style.  Again, nothing was done.  To protect my daughter I had to send her to my sisters to live.  I just wish that parents would stop, look and listen when other parents go to them and rationally ask them to please do something with their sons/daughters behavior.  This was many many years ago but it still upsets me to no end that it is getting worse.  The schools and parents should be held accountable in any bullying situation. 
 
Replied By: smalltown_girl on Oct 30, 2010, 2:15AM
I watched this show on Swedish TV4+ this morning (we are a bit behind over here) and as my own daughter have been bullied in this smalltown school since 1st grade (she's now in 9th grade) without school even admitting it, I am not surprised. Actually here, the school have now reported me for the second time to social services, claiming I'm "psychologically unhealthe" and negative to school and society in general. Well, to Dr Phil and everyone else who might read this, it is very difficult not to be negative towards a school that isn't doing one single thing but ,accuse me, to help my daughter. Today she isn't "bullied" in that sense anymore, she has withdrawn from even wanting friends in our community, so she is (what  I know) just left out.
There is a very real risk at this point that they will have their wish, that the social services consider me unfit to be a parent and have my daughter placed in foster care. My daughter have showed, and still shows, almost all of the sighn that was on the list in the program - and still the school don't see there is something wrong! No matter how our case ends, my daughter is the loser.
 
Replied By: brendakay on Oct 12, 2010, 9:55AM
My 10 year old son has been bullied since he was in kindergarten. He is now in fifth grade. I have gone to the school and police numerous times.  I have approached the parents of this child.  The response from the father was "was to go son!  That's my boy!"  The mother states "My son would never do that.  You are lying.  It didn't happen."  The principal of the school asked other children what was happening.  They gave the same names and stories as my son and I did.  The principal told MY son to shake the bully's hand and promise to be best friends from now on.  My son was held down on the playground by four of the bully's friends while he kicked and hit my son.  My son got loose and came up swinging.  The playground aid told my son if he was caught hitting again he would be suspended from school.  When he told the aid and the principal what happened they sent my son to the school counselor and told him it was his fault.  Never talked to the other boys.  The video tape from the playground was reviewed and stated they couldn't tell me what was seen on the video because of privacy issues because children other than mine were on it.  The video was taped over.  Getting hit on bus and boy almost broke my son's arm.  Once again video captured it but we are "not allowed" to know what is on the tape and they are taped over daily.  Bully lives one street over and gets his current best friend to do the dirty work for him so he can claim he didn't do it.  Bully approaches my son and his friends-"If you stop being friends with him, I will stop picking on you!"  Gets so bad the kids are no longer friends with my son.  He has lost many friends this way.  Scares me to death because like the 11 year old boy that killed himself, my son was set next to the bully for the school year in class and in lunchroom so they could "learn to get along with each other". I threatened to take it to the superintendent and did end up doing just that!

The school claimed they were only responsible until the child walked off the bus, then it was a police issue.  The police refuse to get involved and claim it is a school issue.  The school claims it is "just boys being boys" and "does your son have problems making friends?" Now have a new principal.  She now claims her responsibility ends when the children step on the bus and it becomes a transportation department issue and when they step off the bus it is the police responsible.  No one wants to deal with it.!

Now this year my daughter and her boyfriend have had to deal with stalking by a girl at school and harrassment. She was also sexting.  The girl also came up to me at a football game and threatened me. I took all this to the girl's mother.  She was "shocked because my daughter would NEVER do anything like this!"  Took her phone  and iPod for ONE day, gave them back and took her t o Chicago for a week long shopping spree for her birthday.  Ended up going to high school and getting the police involved.  Learned many new ways to text someone (phone, iPod, computer) from her.  Need to be able to keep up with technology (because they sure do!) and read those texts! No Facebook or MySpace accounts for my children until they are adults and move out!!!  Not even dealing with that!
 
Replied By: moonwspr on Oct 3, 2010, 9:29AM
Too many times with these suicides it has been said that the schools did little to nothing in stopping/preventing the bullying. I cannot blame the Florida Father for entering the bus and yelling at the kids when they harrassed his daughter! I'm not so sure I would have been able to stop there!
I am not an advocate of violence, but I will do whatever I felt necessary to protect my family if this was my reality! Schools need a ZERO-Tolerance policy! And our society just flat out needs to grow up in general! Start teaching our children morals and respect instead of stressing individualism, competition and popularity as a meassure of success...
 
Replied By: dmarie13 on Apr 27, 2010, 3:00PM
At 45 years old with two children of  (10, & almost 14) I often think back to my childhood...

From Kindergarten through High School I was teased, bullied, tormented on a daily basis.  I was an only child and my mother would tell me, "You Must Have Deserved IT!!!" 


I had very few and most of the time NO friends because I was shy and petite, never fat, never had acne to speak of, never pretty, just a plain and simple TARGET FOR ABUSE.

Never once did suicide even cross my mind.  Here are just some of the things I put up with to get to where I am today (most from Jr High and High School):

spitballs (probably invented for me)  My brown hair turned white ever science class in Jr High.

Personal possessions were taken and thrown around, not returned    PLEASE READ ON IT GETS SO MUCH WORSE…and this was all I could think of in a web comment.

personal items stolen such as clothing stolen from locker room of swim class where the suits belonged to the school

Name calling – “witchy-poo” was the favorite in late elementary school.  There was a girl there that wouldn’t keep her hands out of my desk and by lunch time had stolen and consumed whatever I had.

Egging the house and cars – not just at Halloween.  Eggs can do a lot of damage when frozen on surfaces like cars and homes.

writing in the driveway and parents' cars often

breaking into my locker last semester of high school right before exams and tearing everything to shreds all over the hallway while also in permanent black marker writing obscenities about me


being felt on the breasts under my shirt from behind in English class by a football player while everyone thought it was funny,  If I told I would have been blamed and his girlfriend, a cheerleader also In the class would take me by the hair and slam me into the lockers.

Being slammed into lockers by my hair was nearly a daily event.

Car tires being slashed; multiple cars broken into for vandalism and theft.

Girls in cliques writing fake notes that were said to be from me and making sure the teacher caught them so they would be READ OUT LOUD TO THE WHOLE CLASS and they were very not nice to say the least.


Knives put to my neck with threats of harm in crowded high school hallways by girls I didn’t even know.  Today it would be guns but back then in the 1980s there were knives, and plenty of them.

In the cafeteria one day a girl who especially hated me for what reason I still do not know came over to me (I was always alone) and dug her nails into my hands just below my rings in an attempt to steal them from me.  For once she did not get what she wanted but I was injured.

A boy they somehow found out I had a crush on put him up to a fake date request.  In the hallway on a Friday, he asked me “Would you like to go to a movie on Saturday Night?”.  Stupid me says, “Sure, I’d love to”.  His response, “WELL, THEN GO!!!!!!” and he pushed me out of the way and headed down the stairs.

SUICIDE WAS NEVER AN OPTION, NOT EVEN A THOUGHT TO CONSIDER!  I knew of no one who even spoke of it…even if through evil mouths.

I spent a lot of time looking out my bedroom window (even on prom night) and the negative comments and insults didn’t end in school.  My mother seemed to hate me, and always had something to say that would be so awful.  I even remember her kicking me into the corner and defenselessly curling up in fetal position and waiting for it to stop.  This went on until I was 16 and threatened to call the police.  She Is elderly now and (says she) does not remember anything.

 

I survived those years and even finished college but today suffer recurring, incapacitating episodes of depression.

 
 
Replied By: kayasarin on Apr 24, 2010, 11:22AM - In reply to momof2babies
hey i am an 18 year old girl but i think like i am older than what i am, its not fair to judge all kids based on what some of us do, and the thing about they'll learn when they get older and have a family isn't always true! Tramatic memories that lot of people have they block out as if they never happened, so they may not remember the poor girl killing her self or even why she did it because they may just block it out like i do some of the memories i have, that i prefer never happened. So to say that they will change when they get older isn't true, or is to some degree. To get kids to act the way they are its there parents job, if the parents are in there lifes helping there kids and teaching them right from wrong they have a greater chance of being a kid who stands up to the people who don't. If the kids don't have there parents guilding them and helping them to learn they learn on there own and therefore make bad chocies in life, I blame the parents for the way there kids act, my aunt though she had a good daughter but now that her daughter is with a 22 year old and is 18 she learning what kind of daughter she really had, but it wasn't her mothers fualt it was because she was raised mostly by her dad and had to grow up at a young age. If you let your kids get away with crap and they do something like what those kids did and drove pheobe to kill her self theres no one to blame but the parents of those kids and the kids themselfs, those kids new what they were doing and didn't care, there just as bad as someone who goes out and slaters innocent people for the fun of it, if i had my say in it those kids would be in jail for what they did. I have had to live with being bullied at school since 6th grade when i was in exira iowa, and again from 9th grade to my senior year which i am at right now, I am glad my highschool years are almost done and as for my school they need to get there act together and stand up for kids who are getting harrased, stocked and threatened, at flowing wells high or any other school this wouldn't of been continuing and the harrasment and schocking as well as threats would of stopped long ago, but because i go to marana highschool they let kids do as they please till it turns into a fight. I was harrased and assualted, i had things thrown at my one my bus we have video camera's but nothing was done, i got off my bus and had to defend my self because i was being attacked, i tried to push the girl away from me and as i did she hit me and knocked me to the ground the next thing i knew she was ontop of me trying to kill me, i nailed her in the stomach and she ran off crying, i then called the cops and it was 7 to 1 and the cops did nothing, because it was my word and 3 other people on my side against 7 girls, there were over 20 cars up at the bus stop but only 1 parent and her 2 daughters stepped up to help me, i was shaken and crying but i trusted them, and they helped me i called my dad and he was flying down the road on the fourwheeler, Just this year alone i dated a guy who after we broke up i had the strangest dreams that i was at school alone at this area i hang out and eat my lunch when he walked up over powered me and raped me, though it was just a dream it felt so real, Little did i know what the dream ment until my friend julie told me what he said he was going to do to me while we were dating, if he ever got me alone he was going to force me to have sex with him, Then the next thing i knew he rapped my friend, and the bastard principles at my school did nothing the court told my friend and her parents he had to do it at least 1 more time to her before they did anything to him or let her have a restraining order,that is bullshit! Just recently he got caught with drugs on school campus and as far as i know is only getting suspended for 10 days. the last time he was suspened for 3 days for fighting on school campus. Does that sound right that he can get away with whatever he wants? whats it going to take to get him off the streets? him to kill someone? i say no way! Start fighting back people, its your life and your country! Take action against people like this! Go to the board meetings at the schools, let your opion be heard. I am, Because i writting a book of what its like being a highschool student getting bullied and harrased and the school doing nothing.
 
Replied By: momof2babies on Apr 21, 2010, 9:51PM
The aspect of bullying that I think has been overlooked is what these bullies will go thru when they are adults and have to deal with the fact that their petty immature behavior has led to the actual death of another person.  These kids probably feel bad that their target has killed themselves but until they are older, they will not know the full weight of what they have done.  I imagine that in 5-10 years they are going to have a huge realization of what they have done and, I cannot even imagine what that pain would feel like.  Llike Dr. Phil says, "you can't take back stupid."  I think that it's these future consequences that the parents and teachers also need to think of which will also be a motivator to squash bullying.  The bullies do not know better at this point but the adults do and it's their job to not just protect the bully victims but also the bullies from the unintended consequences of their behavior.  Dr. Phil always says that your brain isn't fully developed until around 25 years old and that final part is the ability to see around corners.  These kids can't do that but the adults can and it's their job to protect these kids from themselves.
 
Replied By: kayasarin on Apr 21, 2010, 8:20PM
hey teachers and principles, stand up don't take it laying down like my school. i am a student at marana highschool, and i feel as though the principles don't care, i have been harrased on my bus for 3 years, told by the school they would do something, that the kids harrasing me would be kicked off the bus for 3 years if they were caught, we have video camera's on my bus and still nothings been done. It pisses me off that people like cameron staggers can get away with what their doing to people, what are the schools going to do, let them run around till they kill someone, or make people feel so bad they kill themselfs? Its not right and there needs to be a stop to this crap. Teachers listen to the students who are telling you they are being harrased if you don't they might not be there the next day. STAND UP LET YOUR VOICE BE HEARD! I may be a student and my voice may be limited in school but i wont let that take away my voice to protest how my school takes care of the bulling and harrasement. There is a non-bulling law that went into effect serval years ago, when i was in middle school. I was not only bullied at marana highschool, i was bullied in exira to, i was told by other students on by bus there that ," i wish you would fall of the edge of the earth and die" How long is this going to continue? till another person kills them selfs? or till the people who are bulling others kill someone? are we going to have another colombine because the school and teachers wont stand up and take action? I wont let my vocie be limited just because i'm at school the first amendment garrentees my freedom to free speech, so tell me how long will it take for the schools to stand up and say no more? I am glad this is my last year of highschool, and i want to become a lawer, i study the law for fun, remember this if the school tells you that your son/daughter gets a restraining order they don't have to enforce  it they do! the kids that are harrasing them have to stay 50ft. away while on school campus, and 100 feet when not at school. If you get a restraining order and the kids still wont leave them alone call the cops or have the school do it, if the school wont tell them to do it because weather or not on school campus they are breaking the restraining order and can be arrested for it. No i am not rainting, i am speaking my mind on a matter that should be spoke about instead of barried away because people are cowards, STAND UP PEOPLE DON'T JUST IGNORE IT AND TRY TO HIDE FROM IT, IT WILL ONLY GET WORSE IF YOU DO, TRUST ME I AM SPEAKING FROM EXPERIANCE!
 
Replied By: kayasarin on Apr 20, 2010, 5:55PM
wow dr.phil that really sucks that it happend to her, but people need to stand up and fight back against things like that, it sucks and i rather not see it happen.  Unfortunately like her i am getting harrased at school and because my school didn't stop the guy from harrasing me, he raped my best friend now the courts wont let her press charges or get a restraining order which isn't right, How am i to make him leave me alone?
 
Replied By: dawnmarie0514 on Apr 15, 2010, 7:28PM
I am so sad for the families of the people who lost loved ones as a direct result of the bullying in their schools & communities.  Though I am currently in my mid-thirties, I do have very distinct memories
of being 'teased' and 'openly ridiculed' during my jr. high school years & on into my freshman & sophomore years in high school.  The comments were mainly focused on how I looked, my appearance...my clothing,  for example- it wasn't a wardrobe valued at thousands of dollars, but I did buy new clothes at the start of & during the course of each school year at local mall stores & I did my best to look fashionable & presentable.  I also recall making decent grades in school - I was someone that took the assignments seriously & wanted to do well - others who saw that in me did attempt to
turn it into something that might be latched onto & seem as a 'geeky' or negative quality with which
they could then make fun of me for.
Given the choice between flaunting or at leasting showing pride in my ability to do well in my classes,
I would instead pull back & try to sort of hide or downplay my grades, etc....as I didn't want to draw any other negative attention to myself.  In all of the incidents that I recall, there were always at least 2 or 3 other people who were playing off one another to spark more comments/humor & criticism, & I always had the impression that there were certain teachers, those whom I would describe as being more involved & ineterested in the full experience of being a teacher from the first bell to the last bell & even beyond to having a teacher or counselor who might made themselves available to students after class for advice or meetings.  I was one of the students who didn't want to 'tattle' to a teacher - as part of a generally accepted belief system that says that "kids will be kids" & "you just have to work these things out on your own" - I didn't neccesarily agree with those theories then & I still don't today, but at the time, for an assortment of reasons, I did keep most of the bullying to myself & finally as my junior year started, I found myself having become good friends with a group of people who where already more widely accepted.  The girls were very pretty & kind, & the boys were fun, & talented in sports.  We were lucky
the group worked despite our different qualities, etc....I'd have to say that the best quality that any of these kids brought along to either the group as a whole, or to the individuals themselves, was that they did choose to see the good in all of us & we sort of took care of each other whenever someone in the group went through something difficult.  Whether it was a poor grade on a test, or a bad performance
in a game, or a break-up, etc.....I'll always be grateful that my own personal 'high school experience' became better as a result of my interactions with these other students.  I also wonder what would have happened if I had been left to listen to & face the cruel commentary, the criticisms, the pointing & laughing, etc....would I have been able to go to an adult that would have been helpful in doing the right thing or would I have continued to try to keep my embarrasement & developing insecurities to myself so as to seem strong & to not burden my parents with a situation like this.  Would I have folded under the pressure & scrutinity too?  It's so unacceptable that any student should have to suffer for a minute or an hour in these conditions...but the fact that with the suicide stories we then learn that it wasn't just a minute or an hour of humiliation - it could have been days, weeks, or months - no one can convince me that in the height of this kind of bullying that none of the teachers or administrators had or has any awareness or knowledge of this kind of behavior.  Please don't leave these kids out there on there own - it is bad enough for the ones who fatally took their own lives - please don't now take steps back away from them & from shining a lite on the source of the problem & then for holding those who were directely involved accountable.  There is another saying that's been around for a while - it is:  "There is safety in numbers"  - It's ironic because for the person who is being bullied, they are usually alone.  They are the ones that are seeing the pre-judged looks in the multiple sets of eyes around them, they are the ones hearing the obnoxious & foul slurs, insults & threats from a variety of voices - where is the feeling of 'safety in numbers' for them?  It would seem to me that the only people who are enjoying the benefits of  'safety in numbers' are the actual groups of people who try to humiliate others seemingly for their own personal pleasure.  If you watch, you'll see that the people who are active in their efforts to mentally, emotionally, physically, or intellectually damage someone almost always seek out their own need for acceptance, by the fist bumb, or a quick nod or a brief laugh.  I don't have all of the answers for dealing with a problems that is complex, but I do try to think things through in a way that make sense to me.  I try to be honest & realistic about my feelings in relation to situations that I've been involved in & I try to carry that thought process over to how these current situations should be looked at & dealt with now.  I hope others, expecially those who might be in a position of power or people who might be in a place from which honesty & fairness can take hold will try to do the right thing so as to reduce the numbers of people who are dealing with this at all or worse, concidering ending their own lives to escape any more unneccesary pain & sadness.
 
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