The suicide of Phoebe Prince, on January 14, 2010, led to the criminal prosecution of six teenagers for charges including civil rights violations, as well as to the enactment of stricter anti-bullying legislation by the Massachusetts state legislature.
Prince had moved from Ireland to South Hadley, in the U.S. state of Massachusetts. Her suicide, after suffering months of bullying from school classmates, brought international attention to the problem of bullying in American schools. In March 2010, a state anti-bullying task force was set up as a result of her death. The Massachusetts legislation was signed into law on May 3, 2010.
On the afternoon of January 14, 2010, three of the accused allegedly engaged in persistent taunting and harassment of Prince at school, in the library and school auditorium. One of the accused allegedly followed Prince home from school in a friend's car, threw an empty can at her, and yelled an insult. Her younger sister found her hanging in the stairwell leading to the second floor of the family apartment.