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The guilty pleas of students in a Massachusetts school harassment case this week thrust the spotlight back on bullying in the United States, but the issue is also drawing more attention beyond America’s borders.

France’s education minister made national headlines this week when he announced plans to combat bullying by shutting down Facebook accounts of students who harass their classmates.

Mexican legislators approved a new anti-bullying measure this year. And debates on the topic surged in Brazil last month, after a gunman who killed 12 students at a school in Rio de Janeiro said in a homemade video that bullying was one of his motives.

Five classmates of a Massachusetts high school freshman who hanged herself in the stairwell of her family’s apartment pleaded guilty to charges of criminal harassment, prosecutors said this week. One district attorney described the systematic bullying of Phoebe Prince, 15, who took her own life in January 2010 after weeks of ridicule and teasing at school.

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