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Bullying: It Happens in College,Too

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Bullying has been making big headlines over the last few months due to the bullying-induced suicide of Phoebe Prince, a 15-year-old high school student from South Hadley, Massachusetts. Prince, who immigrated to the United States from Ireland in 2009 with her mother and siblings, had been bullied and harassed for months by students at South Hadley High School. Prince decided that she’d had enough on January 14, 2010.

Prince had been harassed in the school library during her lunch period, and was taunted in the school hallway as the final bell rang. The final straw apparently occurred when another student threw a can at her from a car window as she walked home from school. Prince committed suicide that afternoon by hanging herself in her family’s apartment. Her body was discovered by her 12-year old sister. Following announcement of Prince’s death, crude remarks were posted on her Facebook page.

Legal action was brought against students believed to have been the ringleaders in making Prince’s life “a living hell” and resulting in her suicide, and anti-bulling programs are supposedly being started at South Hadley High School and other schools in the area.

Bullying at the College Level

The Phoebe Prince case has brought bullying and cyber-bullying into the spotlight, and even though many people are not aware that it happens, bullying is a common problem in college as well. People who get enjoyment from tormenting others do not suddenly give up the behavior once they get their high school diplomas.

In fact, I found some information regarding the topic on the Kansas State University’s website: Bullying isn’t just a problem on the grade school playground or in the high school locker room, according to two Kansas State University faculty members working to thwart the problem. “We know that some bullying carries over into college,” said Judy Lynch, director of K-State’s academic assistance center.

I recently wrote a blog about extreme hazing activities on college campuses, and the way that some fraternities and sororities are forcing potential members to do dangerous things which have even lead to death.

Lynch touched on the subject of Greek organizations as well, explaining that bullying at college can be done to get an unpopular girl to quit a sorority, or even instructor feeling bullied by a student, or vice versa.

As the Phoebe Prince case demonstrates, extreme bullying can lead to such depression that a student may feel there’s no way out.

Suicide.org is suicide prevention, awareness, and support website which states that suicide is the second leading cause of death among college students, and the number one cause of suicide for college student suicides is untreated depression.

College can cause tremendous stress in students, and high levels of stress can cause depression. Add being bullied into the mix, and it just may be just enough to put someone over the edge. It happened to Phoebe Prince.

Suicide.org puts it best: If you think that you may be depressed, please make appointments with a medical doctor and a therapist so you can be evaluated and treated.



Kansas State article


Melissa Rhone+

Melissa Rhone earned her Bachelor of Music in Education from the University of Tampa. She resides in the Tampa Bay area and enjoys writing about college, pop culture, and epilepsy awareness.

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