SOUTH HADLEY (CBS) – South Hadley and its school department paid the parents of Phoebe Prince a settlement of $225,000 to prevent them from suing.
The settlement details were sealed, but the ACLU and the online magazine “Slate” successfully sued to get the details released.
Prince hanged herself in January 2010 after relentless bullying. Five students later accepted plea deals in criminal cases connected with her death.
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“This is a victory for the public’s right to know and for transparency in government,” said Bill Newman, who represents Slate reporter Emily Bazelon and serves as director of the ACLU’s Western Massachusetts Legal Office in Northampton.
In July 2010, Phoebe’s parents Jeremy Prince and Anne O’Brien filed a complaint with the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, which alleged that South Hadley Public Schools failed to protect their daughter.