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November 30th, 2011
02:55 PM ET

Anne O'Brien on the bullying her daughter suffered: "She didn't stand a chance"

Phoebe Prince's suicide after being bullied by her school classmates drew worldwide attention to the deadly dangers of bullying. But now, nearly two years later, children are still dying. Phoebe’s mother, Anne O’Brien, sits down with Piers Morgan tonight in her first and only television interview, and talks about her daughter’s tragic death. O'Brien says "it was almost planned" because of the way the bullies reacted to Prince's death.

After her death one student wrote "Done" on Facebook while another wrote that "She got what she deserved." O'Brien says the culture in the school helped enable the bullies, rather than stop them. "It's - that level of aggression towards another human being is just beyond my understanding," she says. Tune in at 9pm ET for the full, emotional interview.

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  1. Mary Engleson

    I was bullied when I was in school from 1st grade on not only the girls teased and bullied me but also the boys. I was the smallest in the class, shy and backwards, a slow reader and uncoordinated when playing some games (kick ball, softball) I have Dyslexia and in the 50's and 60's this wasn't a well known thing. One girl pushed me into the garbage can when I was in the 7th grade everyone laughed and left me there, the teacher came into the room and yelled at ME for fooling around I got sent to the principals office. If the teachers and school staff are the same now as they were then I can understand why these children commit suicide. I hated school. Part of the problem in the schools is that even if the bullies are caught there isn't anything that can be done to punish them, the whole system is broken and has been. My heart goes out to these kids and their parents.

    November 30, 2011 at 9:40 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Chewbacka Grizelda

      I went through a lot of the same things described by Mary Engleson. I agree, completely.

      December 3, 2011 at 10:27 pm | Report abuse | Reply
      • umi

        Bullying Requires Non-Education Professionals Bullying requires non-education esnfprsiooals to step in.Unfortunately, education esnfprsiooals, as experienced as theyare and have to be with education-related matters, do not havethe know-how or experience needed to deal with radicallyuncontrolled bullying. However, there are police (men and women), psychologists (men and women), and therapists (men and women) who are not in the business of education; but who are trained to deal with the deviant behavior expressed by a true bully. A 1-800 number for bully victims that is easy to remember should be plastered everywhere in schools from the classrooms to the halls to the restrooms to the playgrounds to the busses and athletic fields as gentle reminders to students thinking of getting out of line (bullying). This no-nonsense number would direct the bully victim to immediate help by trained esnfprsiooals who will evaluate professionally the bully's mental health and stable or unstable home situation; deal with the bully's deviant behavior; and help the bully victim through the merciless trauma/abuse he/she experienced all without repercussions to the actual victim. Of course, legal action and prosecution against the bully (not the school) go without saying. As an added incentive, the school administration may dial the number from the school office. Often, but not always, the bully is a repeat offender. Reporting the crime helps authorities build a case against said bully in court holding the bully accountable for his/her actions.

        March 4, 2012 at 11:33 pm | Report abuse |
      • Pratap

        angelrose2001 on September 4, 2011 I love the bibs and the ooiptn for the EVA vinyl insert. I am always looking for bibs that will keep my son's clothes dry! My son has acid reflux and is still spitting up at almost 2 years old. These bibs also look really comfy!

        March 4, 2012 at 11:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tami

      Thank you, Piers and CNN, for bringing this message to your viewers. My prayers are with Mrs. O'Brien and all of Phoebe's loved ones. I cannot imagine what they've gone through and the grief they will feel for years to come. I, too, was bullied, many years ago when bullying wasn't a "hot topic." It went on for years in spite of my mom's constant advocacy and intervention. In fact, if it wasn't for her tireless efforts to intervene, hold the school accountable, and keep me safe, I am not at all sure how things would have turned out. I am now 43 and living a good life, but I can recall those dark times with vivid and alarming detail. This issue is more prevalent than ever, and only the schools that hold a fast and hard line of zero tolerance might actually stand a chance of preventing many of the terrible outcomes of bullying....but not all. It will take all of us to break this cycle of violence. Again, many thanks to Piers for his journalistic integrity, and to Mrs. O'Brien for her immense courage.

      December 4, 2011 at 10:23 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Mark

    Google search: patent 6630507

    If the federal government insists there is NO medicinal value, and leave it as a schedule I drug. Why would they want this patent? My point is, if they reschedule it – not legalize it, our US doctors and scientists will be able to begin studies, and then begin clinical trials

    November 30, 2011 at 9:46 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  3. B. Jean Galbraith

    I was bullied through 10 years of school, grade 3 to 12, including spit upon, rocks thrown at me, tried to commit suicide. It took inner strength and years to forgive, and at 40th reunion one of the people who stood aside and did nothing for me at school apologized and told me she had carried 40 years of guilt for doing nothing. My personality was altered, as in I am now more empathetic to all personalities, and thank God no internet when I was growing up. I wouldn't survive.

    November 30, 2011 at 9:50 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Debriana McRae

      theres akid in my school who keeps on being dissed. He keeps on playing it off so that no one will know how he really feels inside. Sometimes i will defend him and sometimes i would also bully him but he doesent care if i do it because i knew him for like foreever, we went to the same preschool,elementary,and the same middle schol and hes also in my class. We are in 7th grade now so its time he stands up for himself without the help of his friends.

      December 1, 2011 at 7:19 pm | Report abuse | Reply
      • Mel

        that post was to Debriana Mcrae

        December 2, 2011 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Renee Fisher

    This was a heart breaking show and I cried through the whole thing. Mrs. O'Brien is a very brave woman – I don't know if I could survive this type of loss. I was bullied by a girl when I was a junior in high school and I still whisper her name at the age of 55. I was lucky and it was only one person but she was twice my size and I had nightmares with her in them for years. God bless Mrs. O'Brien and her surviving child. I never write these things but this was a heartbreaking situation and interview.

    November 30, 2011 at 9:56 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Kalil

      I am a kung fu instructor, and my dhteaugrs are all in kung fu as well. I have always told them that the only time they are to use their kung fu is in order to defend themselves. If the school wasn't there to protect Stan's son and stop the fight before it started, I would definitely tell him to protect himself. I don't agree with the school's rule of suspending his son for protecting himself (my daughter's school has the same rule). Therefore, I would take the suspension in order to keep her safe (if that's what it takes). I would also put it back on the school however, and ask them why they weren't there to stop the boy from bullying his son before it got to that point. That's what they pay the noon-aides for. Perhaps they would be willing to agree to pay any hospital or doctor bills that Stan would incur if his son were not to defend himself? After all, they are the ones encouraging him not to protect himself from harm (in the absence of any school personnel stepping in on his behalf). It's not as though Stan's son is going around starting fights

      March 2, 2012 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Virginia

    This is a chilling story. I can't imagine what was in the minds and hearts of those who bullied Phoebe Prince to death. And it is inconceivable that they continued to bully her even after they knew she'd taken her own life. I work in the field of mental health, and have seen scores of times how bullying leaves scars that endure for decades. We cannot underestimate nor overreact to the kind of damage that this behavior causes. I would appreciate it if someone at Piers Morgan could email me back some way to write to Phoebe's mother. I would very much like to reach out to her, and offer her my condolences, and my remorse for the fact that this happened while her family was visiting this country. Thank you, Piers Morgan, for covering this tragic and stultifying story.

    November 30, 2011 at 9:59 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Kindness

    Thank you Piers for bringing attention to this situation. The South Hadley tragedy is terrible and absolutely unacceptable. I just wish in an hour long special the solution of teaching kindness and compassion in the schools would be mentioned at least once. When we focus solely on the bad we only feed the problem without taking steps forward to bring us closer to a solution....www.rachelschallenge.com

    November 30, 2011 at 10:10 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Shushant

      My adopted child has been bieulld since coming to this school in the fourth grade. She has had several nervous breakdowns because of the bulling. For the record, bulling is NOT the same as when the older generations had it, they are NOT just the big kid taking from the weaker kid. Now days it is mostly mental issues that make up the most of bulling.Like the boy mentioned here, she has had to refrain from coming back at them for fear of punishment. As in most incodents, she was made out to be the troublemaker thus making things worse. As a parent I told her to do what she has to to defend herself, and we would deal with the rest later.I can attest to the fact most schools will brush bulling to the side for the reason of denial and not wanting to deal with the happenings. Kids are mean, cruel and very sneaky and usually the jock brains staff children etc. and not being punished as should be.We NEED more intense training as to the effects bulling has on a person brought into our schools! Not by a short assembly by the school counselor, nurse. Bring in law enforcement, mental health people and PARENTS of students who have been bieulld. In my childs case, IF the bulliers had been thru just half of what she has, they would have wanted to end their life by now, which sad to say is what happens to alot of kids !!

      March 4, 2012 at 8:38 pm | Report abuse | Reply
      • Esmeralda Green

        To Shushant,
        sorry to hear of the problems your child and you are going through. I am no expert but I think it is great that you have formulated your daughter's problems in the open. Have you spoken to her teachers and her school? I have three daughters and if any of them were bullied I would first try and battle it out with the school and defend the rights of my child. Then try and get the school to reprimand the bullies and even address their parents. Maybe their parents aren't aware of it. Maybe the school is not aware fully of it. If this did not help I would consider taking my child of that school. This bullying will have devastating effects on her life and her selfesteem, and there is no need to endure bullying at all. It is not an acceptable way of growing up. Even if life in school is like surving the law of the jungle, there are surely other schools in your area that would be able to accomodate your child better.Your child deserves the best in her childhood. Even if children have to learn to stand up for themselves, in my opinon it is not a healthy environment where they have to defend themselves with martial arts or their bare fists. We should educate children to accept others who are different from themselves without having to resort to physical violence. If one person starts using physical violence , it quickly escalates and becomes dangerous.Children shouldn't have to go down that route. School should be about having fun, learing and making long-lasting friendship Best of luck Shushant!

        March 5, 2012 at 9:28 am | Report abuse |
  7. S. Flickinger

    My heart goes out Anne O'Brien. The school failed to protect this young lady, and should be held accountable. Until there is a no tolerance policy, and teachers and administrators are held morally and legally responsible to stop any and all bullying, nothing is going to change. These teenagers should have been expelled, their parents should have been notified of their behavior. Bullies don't change, they grow up and continue the same bad behavior as adults. Those girls only remorse was that they were in trouble. The tears were for themselves. Lock em up and throw away the key.

    November 30, 2011 at 10:13 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Mark

    Google search: patent 6630507

    If the federal government insists there is NO medicinal value, and leave it as a schedule I drug. Why would they want this patent? My point is, if they reschedule it – not legalize it, our US doctors and scientists will be able to MORE AFFORDABLY begin studies, and then possibly clinical trials. Which President is going to be the one to change the course by stopping the lies and owning up to the fact that this MIGHT be the cure, or might lead us to the cure for cancer? In addition, go to you tube and watch videos of patients with MS and watch how quickly the cannabinoid interaction with the brain immediately allows at person to become normal... No stuttering and much more control of their muscles.

    The government chooses to ignore everybody's call to reschedule it – and it continues to cost the WORLD money needlessly spent against petty possessions which local, state and federal governments cannot afford any longer. The longer they choose to not do anything, the more money it continues to cost the global economy.

    Just my two cents.

    November 30, 2011 at 10:13 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Ann

    Why was Anne O'Brien on the show with apparently no personal support? Perhaps it was by her choice but it seemed she needed and should have had a support person. She should know that there are many people trying to help children to develop a conscience. I work at a preschool where the teachers use conflict resolution techniques and talk to the children about respect and leaving "heart prints" by their actions and words.

    November 30, 2011 at 10:13 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Diane

    My child is bullied at school daily. Like many other students he did not tell us the full extent of the abuse. It wasn't until we saught help that we found out how severe it is. The problem is that if names are given to the school the situation worsens. Students tell their friends and the number abusing grows. I am desperate for advice on what to do. The situation has been devastating to my child and our family.

    November 30, 2011 at 10:24 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Hope

      Diane-look into a wonderful nonprofit organization called rachelschallenge.org.

      November 30, 2011 at 10:34 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Denise

      Diane,
      I feel for you and your child. I too currently have a child that is being bullied at school. The school and police are of no help. I feel your pain and will keep you in my thoughts.

      November 30, 2011 at 10:44 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • robin

      REPLY TO DIANE
      Maybe it isn't so simple, but should you consider getting your boy out of that school? Even though every adult involved in Phoebe's situation knew what was going on, she still managed to sink into a depression so severe she killed herself!

      November 30, 2011 at 10:45 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Anjalika Silva

      Diane - I see a link here to report abuse. I am not sure how successful you will be. I am a mother whose daughter was bullied in the 1980s and I was desperate when she wanted to run away if I didn't take her out of that school. I found her in the garden shed having written a note to me. She was depressed and in foetal position. She was about 12 at the time and I made the drastic decision to send her to my family far away in Sri Lanka and admitted to a school with more discipline. It was hard parting with my only child who was very close to me but I had no option because I had a supportive mother in Sri Lanka who took care of her. My pleas to the school authorities fell on deaf ears. They were as mean as the bullies. This was in Maryland in a county known for good schools. Schools don't do enough. There are no committed teachers or counsellors. Thankfully I saved my lovely daughter who is now 33 years old, married and raising two of her own in England. The loneliness was worth it as she came out without the scars that would have damaged her for life. She graduated college and went to grad school in England and does all she can to protect her children today. Please take action as your child is suffering and it doesn't get better - it gets worse. Even back in the days without Face Book it was bad enough. If a child is smart, pretty and basically a good kid, they have no place in the schools system that caters for those who waste time and have no aim in life but to make others miserable. Act soon and keep your child close and reassured. It is hard. I went through so much pain myself but as I look back, I won the battle but with sacrifice. If push comes to shove, move the child to another school but negotiate with them about protecting the child before this happens again.

      November 30, 2011 at 10:45 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • MZ

      No one champions children like their parents. It seems logical to assume that no school will understand your child as deeply as you. Step up for your kid; don't wait for the school or the police. If that means pull your kid out of school, that's what it means. It's clear that in the case on TV, it's useless to wonder about the remorse of the kids; they're just dumb kids. The school is totally exposed for its all-too-typical negligence, for dumb adults pretending to be teachers.

      December 1, 2011 at 12:58 am | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Kathy

    Thank you Piers Morgan for bringing this story to my attention.....it's the first time I've heard of it, sadly.

    Please do some follow-up, don't let this story die with all the others.

    November 30, 2011 at 10:38 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  12. vicky

    Extremely sad for a mother to endure the pain of loosing a child. My heart goes to Mrs. O'Brien for the loss of her daughter.
    While raising my children, I found that teachers choose to ignore it, in fact, some teachers are also bullies.
    As a person raised in a foreign Country, I find that too many Americans lack respect for humanity and are mean spirited and selfish and because of it, I became a loner. I was never bullied at schools, however I was bullied at work.
    It all starts at home. Parents set examples for children or they do what they are allowed.
    A fine example that Americans lack of respect from humanity is Gingrich's statement that he F..... his sick wife for the love of his Country and yet, he leads in the Republican campaign. Hello, Syria, Libya and Egypt if Gingrich is elected president. It's pathetic that such smart person does not realize that respect for humanity is what makes a Country. America is heading toward the wrong direction for numerous reasons.

    November 30, 2011 at 10:42 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Linda

    I'm so sorry for your loss, Ms. O'Brien. Phoebe looked like a wonderful girl.

    November 30, 2011 at 11:03 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  14. robbin

    I too would like to send a letter to Ms. O'Brien to offer condolences and reach out in empathy – her pain is felt right thru the tube, and for her to know there is real humanity in the world may possibly ease her soul a tiny bit. How can we reach her? There must be an organization that accepts mail for her?

    November 30, 2011 at 11:14 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Ann

    I am really sorry for Ms. O'Brien. Thanks for her for giving a chance to other kids to look at themselves and improve on their behaviour.

    My kid was bullied by the teacher. She gave "Drama Queen" award at the year. My kid is smart and was lacking enough emotional support at home. Teacher instead of helping a 8 year old child always put her down in front of classmates. What reaction will kids learn from that teacher? Apparently this teacher works too long for the school and teaching same grade.

    December 1, 2011 at 1:11 am | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Jorma J. Takala

    I've been saying this over and over, like a broken record... This is what will continue to happen when people are consuming toxic artificial food additives. The additives caused my bipolar manic disorder and when I adopted an organic and natural lifestyle all of my behavioral disorders disappeared.
    The Arizona shooter, Jared Lee Loughner is another example of the type of behavior caused by the consumption of toxic additives that severely alter the chemistry of the human brain.

    I know this because at one point, I could have gone out and done the same thing without a second thought!
    The preservative calcium disodium edta is made from formaldehyde and cyanide. The colors used in M&Ms, skittles koolaid jello gatorade, doritos all contain petroleum based coal tar, Essentially the same coal tar used to pave the roads across America. This also alters the chemistry of the brain.

    My bipolar manic disorder gone, My sleep apnea gone, my life changed for the better, nothing makes me angry anymore, no more irrational flying off the handle all because I changed my diet and stopped eating foods that contain those additives. EDTA is used in almost all mayonnaise and margarine, canned goods, 7-UP and 5 hour energy shot (and more) all fast food contains toxic additives, So much so that my wife and I never ever eat out because nothing is safe.

    The additives are the cause of autism, alzheimers, sleep apnea and so much more!

    http://www.facebook.com/thecauseofautism

    December 1, 2011 at 1:55 am | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Jorma J. Takala

    The additives cause swelling of the brain stem and because of the proximity of the medulla oblongata the swelling of the brain stem causes a physical pressure against various portions of the human brain resulting a condition where the bipolar mood swings are a predominant behavioral trait. When I changed my diet and lifestyle I discovered that it was the additives that caused the daily migraine headaches that I suffered for over 30 years. And now the only time I get a migraine is when I accidentally consume some food containing additives!

    I discovered that dye free benadryl is the one and only thing that makes the migraines go away (usually within 30 minutes)

    Some symptoms of problems caused by the additives are Rosecea, Dilated pupils, rash, fever.

    After several years of not eating these additives an accidental consumption of Calcium Disodium EDTA... I end up with fibromyalgia symptoms, migraine headaches, fever, etc for as much as three weeks!
    It's very bad, I feel like I was hit by a truck every morning for a couple/few weeks!

    Trust me, I know this better than any doctor in the world! I've been told by several doctors I should be teaching this to doctors and med students!

    December 1, 2011 at 2:05 am | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Esmeralda Green

    This woman's suffering breaks my heart. I don't think you can ever really recover from losing a child through suicide. It is unbelievable the teachers and the school claim not to have known anything about the bullying and that this woman wasn't listened to. I know the kids involved were twisted and had gone mentally astray, but there to stop it. Who else is going to be these children or any childrens' rolemodels,if not the adults? It is hard for people,kids and grown-ups alike to admit or even recognise abusive behaviour as systematic bullying, especially if it is sporadic and if the main group in a place doesn't agree on that it is actual bullying. People need to intervene much quicker. As often in our society it takes a horrendous case like Phoebe Prince's to happen to open the eyes of the rest of us.R.I.P Phoebe Prince.

    December 1, 2011 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Julia Zhu

    I just watched the interview,and I must say a child commit suicide the person who should take the biggest responsibility is the mother;It is impossible a caring,loving and a observing mother to have a child suicide! what has the mother done during all the cause when things were getting serious?!

    December 1, 2011 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • mary

      i completely one hundred percent disagree with you there, and im sure many people will! you never know whats going on inside a persons head...whether its a child, teenage or an adult. people who think about harming themselves very rarely tell someone how they are really feeling deep down inside. it comes to a point that that person feels that they just cannot go on anymore and there is no solution, and it is so sad, especially at such a young age as pheobe prince. i imagine her mother had never even suspected that her beautiful daughter would commit suicide. i think it is very very wrong of you to even attempt to pin the responsibility of this tragedy on Pheobes mother...it was NOT her fault!!! i hope Anne o Brien NEVER reads your comment!

      December 1, 2011 at 6:34 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • amj

      This is a disturbing comment. Shame on you!

      December 1, 2011 at 9:24 pm | Report abuse | Reply
      • Seglares

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        April 2, 2012 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Esmeralda Green

      Anne O;Brien is a victim,not a perpetrator of bullying. Some principals particularly and teachers are sadly more bullies than humane educators. Bullying can only happen and persist if the adults in charge allow it, by turning a blind eye to it, and having a frame of mind that tells them: 'Oh that is not my problem, I shouldn't get involved'. IF there had been a proactive approach against bullying in to pprac Phoebe PRince's school she'll still be alive. Anne O;Brien wasn;t listened to.
      Teachers and educators are like doctors, there should be a Hyppocratic oath sworn by teachers to practice teaching ethically and always act against any kind of bullying.

      December 4, 2011 at 3:43 am | Report abuse | Reply
      • Kathy Feight

        Your words were perfect, really hit home with the proper placement of blame. You know, I'm somewhat embarrassed, because I worked in the field of Child Abuse Prevention (accounting side) and there are provisions made that demand coming forward when certain things are seen by yourself out in the field. As you state, this situation must also be mandated in that way.....it's just criminal when people turn their heads and don't want to get involved. WHAT IF IT WERE THERE CHILD, HOW WOULD THEY LIKE IT IF PEOPLE TURNED AWAY AND DID NOT HELP!!!!! It further embarrasses me that these people came from Ireland to experience America, and look what happens. We are better than that and so are the people of Ireland, I have first hand experience with those fine people as my nephew lives in Dublin currently.

        December 4, 2011 at 11:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      Watching this story breaks my heart, and was not sure how or what to comment until I read this post. As the father of a daughter who suffered from years of abuse at school. She suffers from bi-polar disorder and was shuffled from school to school. If it had not been for spending every ounce of my energy for years getting her help and while the school system was in denial and protective of their systems. She is now 22, she made it, it does get better. For other parents out their do not give up and let the schools live in denial of ALL of our children...God Bless Mrs. O'Brien

      December 4, 2011 at 9:57 pm | Report abuse | Reply
      • Kathy Feight

        Steve, so well stated. I'm sure your great parenting skills have helped your daughter immensley. I have just now heard of this story and not only did it make me cry but also made me sick to my stomach. What a shame.

        December 4, 2011 at 11:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Claudette

      Wow. I too wanted to reply to this story, but did not know what to reply until I read this post. I am at a loss for words. My family and I have been fortunate enough not to be bullied but at my school we had 3700+ students and I am sure made it easy for students to be overlooked, if bullying was taken place. Children and adolecents have a tendency of not telling people, especially their parents, everything that is going on at school particularly when it comes to negative activity. Anne O'Brien should NOT be blamed for what happened to her daughter, nor any parent at that. My condolences go out to those victimized or who have know the victimized and especially Ms. O'Brien and her family.

      December 4, 2011 at 10:35 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Mary Helen

      You are obviously a clueless person. When things happen at school to my kids, the immediately tell me, "Mom, please don't go to the school, it will just make matters worse" or "You see Mom, that's why I don't tell you things." It is true that since schools do not have any teeth. the kid/bullies get away with horrific behavior. Yes, shame on you for posting this.

      December 5, 2011 at 10:11 am | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Hugh

    Teachers are bullies and allow children to bully, as they have no other method of control, such as praise and approval that works unitl now. See how by awarding 5 tokens a day per pupil , tokens, to reinforce praise and approval, all bullying and unwated behaviour can be stopped, and better still, exitngished.

    http://sirhughie.webplus.net/

    Hugh Thompson
    02079873876
    UK
    email me at hghthmpsn@aol.com for supplies of safety pins and coloured star spangles and liceneses to use this copyrighted design righted guidance system in your homes and schools

    December 1, 2011 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Melissa

    Seriously? You bully your "friend". If you were real friends with him you would stand up for him no matter if this continued untell he was 40! I understand you are in the 7th grade and that you havent had enough "life experiences" to realize that, that little boy needs friends that will help him. Not hurt him. I dont care how strong someone ACTS you DONT know whats going on inside. Help him, dont hurt him.

    December 2, 2011 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  22. South Hadley Graduate

    I graduated from South Hadley High, and Satan could not have created a more hostile environment. Teachers, the "popular kids," administrators, work in tandem to find the weakest of the "cattle" and do great deal to butcher those students – literally.

    December 2, 2011 at 8:57 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Al

    i was bullied as a child through out my high school carrer and there is no way to get rid of bullying i dont have friends i graduated 2002 and they treat you as a complainer a baby. i was bullied at work told and was told that i was no longer needed because i take everything personal, at will employment is a loopwhole is for them to break the law, how can i support myself if i dont want to be bullied i am unemployed do i keep quitting and yes i am aloner and all get is grow up deal with it. what can i do to make a living?

    December 4, 2011 at 9:09 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Kathy

      When your psyche is damaged, it's quite a lot to recover from, and it rears its head in all situations, hang in there, you are better than those who bully. Just know that, you are better than they are.

      December 4, 2011 at 11:30 pm | Report abuse | Reply
      • Sonny

        what most parents dont rzeaile is the fact that even if their kid os the bully, he will suffer consequences of this behaviour. some researches have shown that 25% of schooll bullies have been arested at least once by their 24th birtday. And not to speak of personality disorders they also develop as an emotional impact of bullying others.

        April 5, 2012 at 1:09 am | Report abuse |
  24. Rick Shaw

    Thank you Piers for your show on Phoebe Prince and the dangerous trends related to bullying and cyber bullying.

    I am confident that you will appreciate knowing there are school successes in how they are 'connecting the dots' and preventing the preventable.

    Preventing Bullying and Preventing the Consequences of Bullying is possible if we "equip" all people to take appropriate actions mandated by federal and state regulations as well as legal and moral obligations.

    Ben Franklin said it best: "Well done is always better than well said."

    I would like to share successes with you regarding how schools are taking next steps from "well said" programs like yours to "well done" results.

    Rick Shaw
    TIPSPrevent.com

    December 4, 2011 at 9:58 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Sugarplum

    Thanks to Piers and Anne O'Brien for sharing the huge public schools in USA regarding bullying. When my daughter was in 7th grade (1992) she was told by a classmate that she and her older sister and friends would be waiting as the bus loaded after to school to "beat her up." I contacted the Principal and Asst. Principal of the Jr. High who said "it was out of their hands after school hours." I ended up taking my daughter out of school and home-schooled her online since I was able to because I have my teacher's certificate. As far a girls are concerned – if you are good-looking and the boys think you are cute, the other girls attack you – when is this going to stop????

    December 4, 2011 at 10:07 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Kathy

      One of the first things I thought was, what a pretty girl Phoebe was, jealousy, I'm sure, had a great deal to do with the bullying. Those monsters, ugly as their actions are, have even uglier hearts.

      December 4, 2011 at 11:40 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Kathy

    Piers, please do not let this story die. We want, WE NEED, follow-up, and a great deal of it.

    I have only just now learned of this tragic story.........please, for all of us, we need to do something.

    December 4, 2011 at 11:24 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Mary Helen

    This is one of the most important pieces you have done Piers. Please do not stop bringing awareness. I still cry at the thought of what that little girl and her mother went through. Incarceration would have done nothing, but a mandatory year spent talking to victims of bullying and having to explain their behavior to the public should be expected. Our children spend 8 hours of their day in the care of school officials. They know and should be involved in the active discipline of this behavior. If bullying occurs off campus, but is discussed on campus and other students know, then the school should be involved. If the school found out a student was selling or dealing drugs off campus, I guarantee you the school would jump in. I would love to do something to keep promoting public awareness.

    December 5, 2011 at 9:19 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • rose macaskie.

      Mary Helen, With a computer, anyone can help but you need to be sure of yourself, which means remembering that in order to spread ideas you have to write the same thing often. Many people say, why write about whatever it is you are writing about you have writen about it already or there are others who will write about it so you dont need to, with people like this around it is easy to lose confidence in yourself when you write about themes you mind about on any site you can find but writing about them is the way to push up public awareness of themes that are not recieving much attention so it is right to reapeat them and you should send those who discourage you packing. Also reading books on mobbing and bullying helps to understand it better. That is a bit of advice I should be giving myself. rose macaskie madrid.

      December 5, 2011 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Bruce Batchelor

    Many schools are implementing "positive behavioral supports and interventions" and having significant success in reducing bullying. You can read reports on this within the new iPad app called "It's COOL to be CLEVER" – which tells the inspiring true story of Edson Hendricks, the genius who invented the network design for the Internet. He was bullied as a child – for being so clever. There are interviews with Mr. Hendricks talking about being bullied, and also about how his mind works and advice to others who feel they are "different".

    December 5, 2011 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  29. rose macaskie.

    You asked Anne OBrien if she wanted the children punished and she just looked sad,. I have looked up the story and it seems that her daughter was accused of double dating, or of having a lover or two at her tender age, The bullies were punishing her. Punishment, punishment from people who have too loose an idea of what is going too far, is what lead to all this maybe, punishment is a two edged sword.
    If you read books on abuse, the people usually attacked by bullies however, are people who stand up to the bullies not the immoral. Attacking those who stand up to them verbally and physically can be a way of shutting the mouths of those who are going to cause the bullies trouble. If they were bullying her because she threatened to cramp their style, in doing so she was playing way out of her league it seems, then finding a moral fault, something that a few bits of society disapprove of in her, is just something they can use to excuse the bullying. Either way morality has a lot to do with bullying, no wonder the mother looked sad when asked if she wanted the children who bullied her child punished, a complex intelligent person is aware that being over ready to punish is one of the things that did for her daughter, how could she see punishment, which can cause so muich trouble for her child as a thing to back up and yet the children needed detering. A bully would have sorted out the turns in that arguement, would have known how not to encourage punishment and yet think of how to put a stop to the children who were so cruel, that is what bullies are good at thinking up how to argue things out, how to take the turns in a road about any theme and argue to the advantage of all their projects. How to convince others it is what they need to be good at if they are to bully, they both want to use others to help them bully and so need to convince them and they need a defense for being so mean if anyone gets to accuse them of being mean, so they need to argue well and know how to use peoples psychology to get believed and they do get very good at it. rose macaskie madrid.

    December 5, 2011 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  30. rose macaskie.

    Piers Morgan, the reality shows use a lot of bully tricks. I find it strange to have someone who works on realitiy shows taking an anti bullying position. The teachers and judges in reality shows are very insenitive about how much criticism people can take, and they pull contestants to peices morally and intellectually and I am not talking of fair criticism I am talking of doing all they can to pull them to peices and commiting lies of omision about anything that would build them up, I am talking about using distortion to destroy them though the organisers will throw in a bit of praise ocasionally, mostly to the most favoured members but not such as puts things straight, just such as to put up a bit of a smoke screen about how mean they are, such as disguises their nastyness a bit. You even got that scottish wonam into a a hospital for a while yo crosesd her wires so. On these shows the organisers stress the contestants out on purpose so that every one on a reality show always seems to be on the verge of a nervous break down. They play them hot and cold and they make them attack each other. I think the realitiy shows are very damaging and that it is incredible that the public allows the bullying that is part of them, no wonder they allow it in schools they allow it everwhere.
    Have you read, "The psychopath Test" by Ron Jonson, he talks about researching into journalists who find people for showswho are borderline mad because they make a show that is more exciting to whatch. rose macaskie.

    December 5, 2011 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Sue

    God Bless you Ann. I wrote a tribute to mothers post last May for you after you so bravely faced the ones who bullied Phoebe's tormentors. There but by the Grace of God I woud be too. Thankfully my daughter was only ten at the time she was bullied and she talked to me. It still was the worst year of her life and it still affects her six years later. People need to realize that is time to teach kindness and tolerance. It would be nice if parents taught it, but unfortunately some don't anymore.

    December 8, 2011 at 1:37 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Sue

      Correction. The above should read: " faced the ones who bullied Phoebe not bullied Phoebe's tormentors. Sorry I was thinking two different things at the same time and should have proofed my typing better.

      December 8, 2011 at 1:40 am | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Engel

    As a mother of a ttllie girl who has had similar problems in the past I don't care what the school policy is I tell her first to try to walk away and ignore it, if that doesn't work to go to an adult, and if it comes to it DEFEND HERSELF. She knows not to put her hands on anyone or to instagate a fight, but she also knows that no matter what her punishment at school may be, I am not going to be mad at her for standing up and protecting herself. If anything, I was proud when she did. It takes a lot of courage to defend yourself in that situation. With all of the headlines I've read about kids getting bullied and it leading to them hurting themselves I have to ask .as parents, what are we supposed to teach our kids? To lay down and take it or to have the strength, confidence, and courage to stand up for themselves??? As for me I will continue to TRY to teach my children right from wrong, but they will also know that they DO NOT have to take bullying, even if it means fighting!

    March 4, 2012 at 10:21 pm | Report abuse | Reply
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