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Hostile Work Environment Definition

Attacking a Bullying Victim, Again: Phoebe Prince

A lawyer who is defending one of the bullies that drove high schooler Phoebe Prince to suicide just published an article in the online magazine Slate. The outrage comes from the slant of the article, which “reports” as objective news that Phoebe brought the bullying upon herself. She’s painted as being a “self-mutilating misfit bent on suicide.”

The apparent purpose of the article is only too obvious to people who have been the victims of workplace bullying; the purportedly objective investigator makes the bully appear less awful by heaping blame on the victim. How many people have complained to HR of a “hostile work environment”, only to be called in to HR and disciplined for poor performance while nothing happens to the bully? This happens so often it’s sickening. But this attorney has taken this strategy to sickening new depths by attacking a dead teenager while the family members are still grieving.

Here is a link to another article about this, where you can find a link to the article in Slate if you care to read it. I can’t stomach linking to the Slate article directly from this site:

How would you feel in the shoes of Phoebe’s parents, watching the lawyer for one of Phoebe’s tormentors smear your deceased daughter? It’s the kind of thing that could make a pacifist like me go postal. (No disrespect to mail carriers).

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