March 31st, 2010
09:46 PM ET

Bullies & Victims: Join the Live Chat

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/01/02/liveblogfinal.copy.jpg]

Tonight on 360°, we're looking for answers in the suicide of a Massachusetts high school student. Prosecutors say bullies drove Phoebe Prince to take her own life. Some are saying the school completely missed the trouble. You'll hear from the principal. We're keeping them honest. Plus, Pres. Obama's new plan for offshore drilling. Is he flip-flopping from comments he made on the campaign trail and we continue our week-long series 'Scientology: A History of Violence".

Scroll down to join the live chat during the program. It's your chance to share your thoughts on tonight's headlines. Keep in mind, you have a better chance of having your comment get past our moderators if you follow our rules.

Here are some of them:

1) Keep it short (we don't have time to read a "book")
2) Don't write in ALL CAPS (there's no need to yell)
3) Use your real name (first name only is fine)
4) No links
5) Watch your language (keep it G-rated; PG at worst - and that includes $#&*)

Filed under: Live Blog • T1
soundoff (353 Responses)
  1. Casey Jones - Palm Springs, CA

    @Maria and Michelle...thanks for telling those stories. That's really important to do.

    March 31, 2010 at 10:31 pm |
  2. Felicia

    I was bullied, picked on, etc. K-12. I have been out of school for 16 yrs now, I have yet to go to a class reunion even though remarkably I get invites. The memories are truly just too painful and embarrassing for me, even at the age of 34. If I were ever given the chance to go back I would say,"Hell No!". My childhood and teenage years were NOT the best years of my life. I feel robbed.

    March 31, 2010 at 10:30 pm |
  3. Nancy in Oregon

    These church members are so defensive....that's a little suspicious in its own right.

    March 31, 2010 at 10:30 pm |
  4. LisaL -Canada

    oh the frogs – that is SO cool – amazing how just good old instinct can keep them alive

    March 31, 2010 at 10:30 pm |
  5. Stephanie

    THANK YOU KEVIN for sticking up for the victims of bullies! That was very compassionate and a brave thing that you did. 🙂

    March 31, 2010 at 10:30 pm |
  6. Sophia

    Anderson thank you for this outstanding show regarding bullying.
    This issue needs to be addressed on a National level with tough laws that are enforced.

    Parents, teachers, students everyone needs to be held accountable.
    Please continue to cover the South Hadley case.

    March 31, 2010 at 10:30 pm |
  7. Emily

    So glad that you found new thoughts and stopped thinking about suicide!
    Bullies are cowards! Sorry to hear that happened to you. It all has to do with the bullies & their insecrities!

    March 31, 2010 at 10:30 pm |
  8. dana

    I am so sad for the family of the boy victimized by bullying/his peers. However, as a public school teacher, one who loves her job and values every child, I am so sick of hearing parents blame teachers for everything! The mom doesn't know what was said, i.e., what the bullying was, but states that the teachers should have known what was going on.
    We do what we can and more; we are already raising 75%of the nation's children, not just teaching them. You need to keep up with your children! Who are their friends? Where are they spending their time? Whose numbers are on their cell phones? the bills? Who are their "friends" on the Internet? Etc.

    March 31, 2010 at 10:30 pm |
  9. Kim

    Both the parents and the schools are at fault here. My parents failed when they told me to "just ignore it." And my schools failed when the teachers and staff either didn't do anything at all, or in the case of my 4th grade teacher, blamed ME for it. What are little kids supposed to do when the ones who are supposed to protect them fail miserably, and then don't give them any social tools to learn how to protect themselves? I was physically sick every day. Don't blame the school officials? They spend as much time with the kids, sometimes more, as the parents do. Every single adult who has contact with a bullied child needs to step up and take responsibility and stop pointing fingers. Children's lives are at stake here.

    March 31, 2010 at 10:29 pm |
  10. Ken

    My son was harassed throughout junior high & part of high school due to medical condition. Early growth they called it. My heart bled for him. The pack group mentality, Never would one of the bullies approach him one on one. The school looked the other way.
    The bullies in the Mass. school should be prosecuted.
    Just imagine the pain she must have felt..

    March 31, 2010 at 10:29 pm |
  11. Paulette in Dallas,PA

    Over twenty years ago my son was bullied. It was in First grade in a Catholic school. I spoke with the teacher and she could do nothing about it. I went to the Sister who was the Principal ans she turned her back and walked away and did not listen. Finally I had a meeting with the Bishop. These 3 kids kept bullying my son. In the very beginning I called the one boy's Mother. She asked me if I was raising a Fag. This finally did stop. I called that Mother again and told her that the next time my kid get beaten or bullied that I was going to drag her out of her car by her long black hair and pull her all over the parking lot in front of everyone. Problem solved. I should have taken this direct approach in the first place. Not all people understand reason nor are logical.

    March 31, 2010 at 10:29 pm |
  12. Fred T

    good luck with any intervention with the parents of bullies. the only way to make a difference in a person targeted for hazing is through school. Intervention at school with counselors and child development pros to bolster the self esteem of the kids targeted. Teach the victims how to cope with hazing. Some say these victims need thick skin,.. yes they do, and they need to be taught by someone with the tools and resources. If you leave them to fend for themselves, most of the time, they slip through the cracks. it's up to the schools to curb the bullying problem.

    March 31, 2010 at 10:29 pm |
  13. Kathy

    My heart goes out to the parents that lost their son. My son was bullied back in middle school for 3 years. My husband and I had enough of him being hurt at school. Kids slamming his face on the school bus seat in front of him, tripping him, hitting him. Finally sending him to the ER to have his braces cut from his lip. Came home with blood on him a couple times. We met with the Principle and made her get the kids in check, also threatened to have our lawyer contact the school board if this didn't stop. It finally did...our son is completing his 3rd year of med.school.

    March 31, 2010 at 10:29 pm |
  14. Anne

    Joseph made a good point. Bullying is going on among adults at work, and in our society in general. I have stopped tolerating any bullying at all. When someone tries to unjustly push me too far, I firmly tell them no. Bullies can bloom if they are allowed to get away with intimidation of others.

    March 31, 2010 at 10:29 pm |
  15. Erik Rochester ny

    For all you parents and kids out their

    I care about you whats happing to you very much. Two things you Show your kid alot of love!! Spend time listening to the so they feel they can tell you anything.

    Kids stay strong remember you have friends like me watching out for you.

    Parents when this happens go to school and do not let up make it a big deal! Be like a bill collect calling and calling!!! Make it a point that you will not stand for this.

    Do not use violence with anyone at any time. But stay on top of the school. Tell the school to have a conference with the other parents. If they blow it off when you are in the conference as no big deal. Tell them it is to you. And you hope that they understand you. And then do it all over again until they listen.

    Its work but work it your worth it.

    March 31, 2010 at 10:29 pm |
  16. Nancy in Oregon

    Yes, Casey, 9 crazy, stupid people can still do a lot of hurt in the world.

    March 31, 2010 at 10:28 pm |
  17. Patti

    I am a retired 1st grade teacher who would always try and track down any child who bullied one of my kids (or even others). I can't tell you how many times I would get called to the principal's office because the parents of the bullies were upset. Their children would never do something like that because their child told them so. I just read where one of the parents of the student's charged said that "this is what teenagers do"! She also went on to say that the girl who was bullied called her daughter names. How sad that the poor girl tried to defend herself and now she is gone and the parents of the bullies are defending their children. It's a serious problem!

    March 31, 2010 at 10:28 pm |
  18. Amy

    There usually is a lot of people involved in these bullying situations who see things happening and choose to ignore the problem. As a school social worker I can tell you that people need to be able to speak up and tell people the problems that they are seeing. The school system then needs to have the ability to deal with these situations effectively so that these bullies can't continue the harassment and avoid what we have seen when the victims are constantly subjected to this type of abuse. It is sad to see a child who feels suicide is the only way out of the pain...

    March 31, 2010 at 10:28 pm |
  19. Tracey Meeks

    I Think that the parents of the childen doing the bulling should be held accountable. If our children are taught to do right and then decide not to do what they are taught at home, then the parents should be held accountable. That's what wrong with our schools and families today no one is help accountable for the actions of their children. The teachers can't do it all, it's their responability to teach and not raise our children. If you are rasing a bullie then you should have to deal with actions of your children.

    March 31, 2010 at 10:28 pm |
  20. sue r

    David Miscavige hold's to much power in the church,,of course there is no physical evidence to support the accusation's against him because most of these events happened over a period of time.Fear could have prevented a lot of these ex-member's from coming forward.
    Anderson ,, Can you tell us if the ex-wives that you interviewed are still member's of the church?

    March 31, 2010 at 10:28 pm |
  21. T.Kara

    Employers are responsible for their workplace and the actions of their employees; although teens are not considered legally independent individuals they still have the capacity to inflict harm and damage. Students are legally required to attend school up to a certain age; teachers and administrators should have a legal obligation to provide a safe atmosphere for all students,free of intimidation and fear from any source. And all parents have should act with a social responsibilty consistent with providing a good sound educational
    environment for all kids

    March 31, 2010 at 10:28 pm |
  22. Joe

    As a school administrator-bullying is a serious offense under the school code of conduct in Texas. However we do not have all the details to pass judgement on this administrator or district–please I'm not defending their actions. My understanding from news report is that we did have some cyber texting, or bulling occuring in my space and via text messaging. Where are the parents of this KIds? Who is supervising the kids at home? I do ask parents to help me and removed these kids from such technology when confronted with these issues. Again I am not defending the school or administrator, however we can say that responsibility must me share with other individuals in this community.

    March 31, 2010 at 10:27 pm |
  23. Jan

    Cessy.. I agree .. important issues and solid investigational work!! Great Job!! Love the Scientology investigations... truth is getting out more and more about this "church"... organized religion is just cults and that's it...

    March 31, 2010 at 10:27 pm |

    I talked to my granddaughter what other kids do..I also made my self visable at her school..knowing the kids they go to school with helps..having friends to your home helps...what I found is that the kids that are doing the pushing,do not have a happy home life or somethin is missing in their own life.

    March 31, 2010 at 10:27 pm |
  25. Shanon

    @ Kathy, Amanda, Trisha – the bullying my daughter endured got so bad she developed an anxiety disorder and would have anxiety attacks at school, which then gave them one more thing to use to insult her. I've lost track of how much we've spent on medical costs, all because of out of control preteens. We've had huge problems with school refusal, any school, understandably, but we can't stay home and homeschool her, so she has to go somewhere. Now I've been told that it's likely she's suffering from a PTSD-type disorder due to the extended bullying. School shouldn't have to hurt.

    March 31, 2010 at 10:27 pm |
  26. Emily

    @Jo Ann,

    "By themselves they are nothing."

    This is SO True! Bullies are nothing but cowards!

    March 31, 2010 at 10:27 pm |
  27. Anne

    Anderson, love the passion you bring to things! What I don't get is educators have been taught to report abuse to kids by parents or others and have done so for years yet they do nothing when they see firsthand what goes on inside the school building? This is a reflection of our current society. People of all ages are acting out – from the Government to the schools...unprecedented!

    March 31, 2010 at 10:27 pm |
  28. Ellen

    Scientology twisted logic is – If ex-wife never saw evidence of beatings on husband's body, then Miscavige is innocent. But they also claim Rathbun was the one who viciously beat people – so where were those bruises?? You can't have it both ways Scientology. You need to get your lies straight. Also, if they witnessed these beatings by the ex-Scientologists why did they never call the police or stop it??

    March 31, 2010 at 10:27 pm |
  29. Megan Dresslar - Shoreline, WA

    Once time I was depression, I felt hurt by bullying, students was teasing me at school, I was so hard time to focus at class, They were mean to me. I decided that I was quiting old at deaf school moved back to public school.

    March 31, 2010 at 10:27 pm |
  30. LisaL -Canada

    ok – before people start laughing too hard at the non-capability of this group ... if someone who had their same objective in mind, who DID have access to weapons, all that would have to happen to make this serious after all would be for someone to simply supply them with the weapons. (and now that they have been 'ridiculed' in public, they might be a bit 'bitter'). just a thought. it only takes one.

    March 31, 2010 at 10:27 pm |
  31. Ann

    Scott............you are very courageous and so are all the kids/adults who have been bullied and been able to move on in life. Schools claim they do not have the time nor money to fund even one day of education on bullying yet they don't have any problem funding football or sports that parents support so they can live through their kids. Little bullies come from big bullies. I blame the schools and parents of these bullies equally.

    If YOU are being bullied, there is another path in life. Expand your horizons and you will find it. Stay strong and find an adult who will support you.

    March 31, 2010 at 10:26 pm |
  32. starr, formerly known as vincent


    Thank you for such an honest story.

    I am so glad you are the advocate that you state that you are. we need many, many more advocates.

    March 31, 2010 at 10:26 pm |
  33. William Courtemanche

    I believe that any teacher, counselor or administrator who knows of bullying and does nothing should ne immediately fires.

    March 31, 2010 at 10:26 pm |
  34. tracy mower

    I think the only way to make this stop is start making a example of this kids I fell very sad for the young girl

    March 31, 2010 at 10:26 pm |
  35. Casey Jones - Palm Springs, CA

    YIKES! I would say this group is definitely dangerous. It doesn't take much to hurt or kill others. Isn't that reality enough?

    One hate filled story to another. I can hardly wait for the Shot of the Day. Whew.

    March 31, 2010 at 10:26 pm |
  36. Patrick

    Teenage kids killing themselves because they are being bullied. When will this absolute nonsense end? Where were the teachers, administrators in all of this. Abuse does not just happen over night, obviously there had to be knowledge of this. To the parents of those accused how could you not know your child well enough to know they might be capable, or in fact know they are bullying another kid. Enough is enough, the kids accused if found guilty need to be held accountable for their actions and the parents as well to some extent.

    March 31, 2010 at 10:26 pm |
  37. Jesper

    Really? who are these freaks? they should be comitted.

    March 31, 2010 at 10:26 pm |
  38. trish

    What should you do to prevent bullying in school, when the principle acts like he could care less?? My nephew is small for 12, and he seems to get bullied a lot, My sister keeps going to school only to hear the same thing every time if anyone has a solution please help..


    March 31, 2010 at 10:26 pm |
  39. Nancy in Oregon

    Oh dear, Cessy....what a challenge that will be. We've seen shows of 'bullying' and threats in the recent health care debate and its aftermath...by lawmakers and adult citizens!

    March 31, 2010 at 10:25 pm |
  40. John

    These cases all seem to have the common element that the children were being harassed online. Are teachers and schools now responsible for monitoring student behavior online? Isn't most of the time spent online, time spent at home? To me, parents are responsible for monitoring their children's activities online.

    March 31, 2010 at 10:25 pm |
  41. Karoline, Los Angeles

    I think the online bullying is a new aspect of an old problem. But I do think bullying is getting worse over all, not better.

    Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among teens in the U.S. That alone should tell educators what a serious emotional problem bullying can be.

    March 31, 2010 at 10:25 pm |
  42. Amanda P

    Wow that story about the 13 yr old boy is sad. I think some teachers are afraid of the students who do the bullying and some teachers just dont want to deal with it. Teachers need to step up!!!

    March 31, 2010 at 10:25 pm |
  43. Anne

    The main thing we all need to realize is that bullies are cowards. We needn't fear them. They thrive on intimidating others. As soon as people are no longer afraid of them ( and report them), they lose their power.

    March 31, 2010 at 10:25 pm |
  44. Jo Ann, North Royalton, Ohio

    @Anderson, Of course these guys are not "brain surgeons", they are just a family of kooks. You are giving them way too much credit.

    What kind of New World Order would they be creating with 9 people? It is a joke and doesn't deserve this amount of time.

    March 31, 2010 at 10:25 pm |
  45. Michelle from Maryland

    Anderson, you wear your compassin on your sleeve; such compassion permeates the airwaves into the hearts of many. Prayers for families who have lost their children to suicide. And prayers for our society to right this injustice.

    March 31, 2010 at 10:25 pm |
  46. Susan

    I have just withdrawn my 9th grader from a popular Magnet program with only 9 weeks left to go in the school year. Former girlfriends conspired to spread hateful gossip or simply openly exclude her. The Principal actually implied she was doing something to cause the bullying. A straight A student, we chose to remove her to be schooled at home.

    March 31, 2010 at 10:25 pm |
  47. Kim- Wimington De

    I have a nine year old daughter who was bullied last year in school. She didn't want to go to school. When I called the teacher she told me that she didn't see it. When the principle was informed she only suspended them for one day and then they did it again the next day. This in turned caused her to fail school.

    March 31, 2010 at 10:25 pm |
  48. Terry

    RE: Bullying in schools. It is such a real issue and I am glad you are addressing it. But, it is not only bullying that needs to be addressed, it is the general behavior and lack of respect and discpline that students show when they are in school. Teachers should not have to deal with these issues, the students need to be sent to the office immediately and serious consequences should be the outcome. The problem is that most teachers would spend at least 75% of their day disciplining students and not teaching. That is why bullying and other issues continue to go on. Going to school should not be an entitlement, students should have to work to get into school and continue to work to stay there. There is too much apathy by students and teachers and administrators are weary from having to deal with it on a daily basis.

    March 31, 2010 at 10:25 pm |
  49. Tara

    Hi Anderson I live in Joshua my son went through the same things as Jon Carmichael at the same middle school. What his parents are
    saying is the gospel. When I brought this to the principals and superintendent I got the boys will be boys attitude. I spent days going to class with my son, seeing the need for more adult supervision and bringing it to the attention of the district and offering to get parents involved in helping police the halls and class rooms. I was told my help was not needed. I feel sick because I feel this might have helped prevent this terrible loss.

    March 31, 2010 at 10:25 pm |
  50. Cessy - Chicago

    Anderson, your show has been covering a lot of very important and interesting issues in one night these last few days. I commend you and your staff for bringing these stories to us.

    March 31, 2010 at 10:24 pm |
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