What ‘justice’ means to Phoebe Prince’s dad

By Anne Collier

Emily Bazelon, whose in-depth series on what happened in and out of South Hadley High School leading to and since Phoebe Prince’s recently appeared in Slate, talked with Phoebe’s father, Jeremy Prince. He told Bazelon what Phoebe was like during the three weeks he spent with her over the holidays, that she didn’t seem suicidal, wasn’t told to be on medication, talked with him a lot. But the one thing she “couldn’t talk about” was the bullying, he said. And he wasn’t with her when school was in session. What he said to Bazelon then would strike any parent. Which makes what he said about the kids who bullied his daughter even more remarkable: that he doesn’t want “Justice for Phoebe” in the revengeful way it’s typically meant. “What he wants, he said, is … ‘admission and contrition’.” If the kids apologized, he would ask the court for leniency, Bazelon reports. [For thoughts on what might be learned from this tragic case in western Massachusetts (and links to Bazelon’s series), see my recent post “Phoebe Prince story: Much more than meets the eye.”]

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