Slate Reporter Emily Bazelon Sues South Hadley Over Prince Settlement

Complaint Alleges Town Has Ignored Requests for Public Records Concerning Settlement that Followed Suicide of High School Student Phoebe Prince FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: (212) 549-2666; NORTHAMPTON — Emily Bazelon, a reporter and editor for the national news organization Slate, today filed a lawsuit in Superior Court against the Town of South Hadley and town officials, seeking an order requiring disclosure of public records concerning the Town’s settlement after the suicide of South Hadley High School student Phoebe Prince–a death widely attributed in local and national media to severe bullying by students at the school. Since May, Ms. Bazelon has made numerous requests for details of the Town’s settlement with Prince’s parents, without success. “After this tragic incident, the amount that the Town of South Hadley paid to settle with Phoebe Prince’s parents is a matter of public record, which town officials have no right to withhold,” said Bill Newman, director of the ACLU’s Western Massachusetts Legal Office in Northampton. “The public has a right to know.” Ms. Bazelon filed the lawsuit with help from the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts, under the Massachusetts Public Records Act, G.L. c. 66,