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Bullied in school, takes her own life

Phoebe Prince and her mother had moved from Ireland to the western Massachusetts town of South Hadley last fall to be near relatives. She became popular with her classmates and had many friends at South Hadley High.

But unflattering Facebook and text messages began circulating about her, and some of the older girls taunted her as she walked home from school.

On the afternoon of January 14, after another day of bullying and harassment, Prince's younger sister discovered her hanging in a closet at home.

In a letter to parents, school principal Dan Smith wrote: "Some students made mean-spirited comments to Phoebe in school and on the way home from school, but also through texting and social-networking websites."

He wrote that Prince was "a smart, charming and, as is the case with many teenagers, complicated young person who truly valued her close friends and family."

Smith said that the case is currently under investigation by the Hampshire District Attorney's Office. Some of the girls with whom Prince had reportedly had disagreements over dating and relationship issues are expected to be questioned.

Prince was born in England and moved to County Clare when she was two. Her body was returned there for burial. She leaves her mother, Anne O'Brien Prince, and her father, Jeremy Prince. She has four siblings.

A scholarship fund has been set up in Phoebe's name. Donations may be sent to the Phoebe Prince Scholarship Fund, Peoples Bank, 494 Newton Street, South Hadley, Ma. 01075.

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