The torturous brutality, veritable inhumanity and unbearable pain inflicted by bullies on the vulnerable Phoebe Prince ("Documents: Bullied Teen Sought Help From School," April 10 National Briefs) demand that early warning antennae should be swiftly and sturdily erected to detect signals -- SOS's -- emanating from children like Phoebe, who took her own life.
These antennae should be unambiguously awarded to and comprehended by such sources of comfort and relief as parents and family, friends, clergy, schools and health providers -- anyone capable of and willing to actualize evidence-based preventive and recuperative interventions to divert unfortunate victims like Phoebe from suicidal and other self-destructive behaviors. Victims of bullying need to be led to healthier and heartier instincts efficacious to cope with and not be immobilized by demonic bullies fueled by hatred and unjustified fury. Thus victims would be safely transformed into happier, fulfilled and jubilant young adults living productive and challenging lives.
Phoebe Prince should have been treated as a princess, not a target of wrathful bullies.
The writer, distinguished service professor emeritus at the Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business at the University of Pittsburgh, is a past president of the American Psychological Association.