Teenagers Connected to Phoebe Prince Indicted today

If you’ve read my About Me page, you know that I’m from Western Massachusetts. Chicopee, to be exact.

If you’ve watched the news in the last couple of months, I’m sure you’ve heard about Phoebe Prince and the bullying that occurred prior to her suicide. Her family moved here last summer from Ireland because her father’s company sent him to work locally for a year or so.

I work in the town where she lived with her family. In South Hadley, one of the most talked about topics since her death.

Bullying is also a major topic.

Many people are upset about the fact that prior to Phoebe’s death there was no anti-bullying laws or that the school districts had no anti-bullying rules. (Heck, I think people even question whether or not anti-bullying rules in school would be enforced by the faculty and administration.)

Today, however, something major happened. A grand jury in the Northwestern Hampshire County District has indicted 9 – you read that correct, 9 – teenagers in her death. More so in response to their actions that led up to her death as opposed to her death specifically. (Click here for a report on today’s indictments.) No faculty or administrators are being indicted.

For me, one of the hardest things about what happened to Phoebe and the actions that occurred from the day Phoebe started school at South Hadley High is how different yet how similar teenagers are today from 10 years ago when I graduated from high school.

Teenagers were mean then but they are a lot meaner NOW. Teenagers don’t just use words and actions but they also use technology, too.

Young people today know so much about using the internet and computer programs like Adobe Photoshop. And with social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, it’s so easy for everyone to know where you are every second of the day.

If this is how teenagers treat each other at this age, before they go out into the world and have to take care of responsibilities, how will they act when they are out in the world – when they have jobs and families. Will they raise their children to treat other people that way?

These are the questions that I’ve asked myself, that people I know have asked.

My other question is this:

Is this how these children are being raised? Because if their parents aren’t raising them this way, how are they learning that it is okay to treat other people that way?

Any thoughts on this?

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Open Letter

I know it’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve posted. I’ve been trying to spend more time in my bible than online. Hence, two weeks without a post. However, something I saw on the news today prompted me to write an open letter. I believe this will be one of many to come.

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Dear Media Outlets,

I must write this because I am deeply disappointed, although not quite surprised.

I believe it is time that as a nation, we must start to look at how we view “celebrities” and their personal lives. I do not believe that it is OK to continue to report on their relationship ups and downs. It is not “hard hitting” news. I don’t even see it as newsworthy.

Now, before I continue, I must admit that at one point I did enjoy reading these gossip magazines. Now, however, it just disgusts me.

I feel an overwhelming sense to protect. Why? Well, maybe because if it were me, I would not want my relationships put under a microscope just so that everyone and their mother could analyze them.

This morning what upset me enough to write this was to watch a morning “news” show that I usually enjoy watching have a psychologist and some author (whose name I don’t remember but she apparently has also been cheated on) analyze Sandra Bullock and Jesse James’ marriage and the alleged infidelity. (I say alleged because can we really trust that this woman truly had an 11-month affair with him? I mean, come on, she told her story to OK! magazine. I’m not 100% sure but I wouldn’t put it past them to have paid her for the story.) This morning show also chose to go to the people to get their opinions about the alleged infidelity. Seriously? Whose business is it anyway whether I or any other person has an opinion about a relationship we know NOTHING about.

(I promise I am getting to my point here.)

Would you like it if we dug up your past indiscretions and blasted them from the rooftops for the world to hear and see? I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t. I believe as a nation we need to really change how we see celebrities. There was a time when they did have personal lives that were lived outside of the spotlight and I think we need to get back to that. The moral condition of this nation has truly gone to the wayside and until we can get back to our original moral code, a Biblical standard of living, then I don’t see how we can get back to being the great nation we once were.

But the media outlets could help. They have a great influence on what we see. So take a stance. Instead of reporting on the latest hookups and breakups, who cheated who and other scandals, report on the good and the admirable things more often. Report on the situations that give people HOPE.

It is a choice everyday that we can make. It’s just a matter of making it and sticking with it.

Thank you,

Jennifer

P.S. If you would like to discuss this further, leave a comment or contact me at blessed_blog@hotmail.com. 🙂

And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day who you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. {Joshua 24:15}

When New England Prays

The video above was posted last month (I’m going to interject quickly that I can’t believe it’s already March but that is a whole other post) by JHOP Boston. We (collectively PVHOP) have come to know them through gathering together in prayer over the last year and a half. Darrell and Bethany Temple lead JHOP Boston. (Click here for their about page.)

On March 1, a group (not quite sure how many at this point) of people allover New England are coming together to fast and pray for 40 Days for an awakening of the Holy Spirit in New England and also a simultaneous 40 Day fast on college campuses around the nation for students. There are many things that are changing locally, regionally and nationally. I could try to put all of the reasons people are in prayer and fasting for these 40 days but it may not do it justice.

I will not mention whether or not I am fasting because, as the bible says, we should not announce that we are fasting as it gives glory to the person fasting and not to God but, I will say that I am committed to praying with them because I believe that praying for the college students and for the spiritual condition of this region I live in and love is a worthy reason to spend 1 hour a day in prayer.