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11 Year Old Kills Self Because of “Gay-Bullying”

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Relentless taunting resulted in the tragic end of an 11-year-old Massachusetts boy, who hanged himself last week after being teased by his classmates.

Sirdeaner L. Walker discovered her son, Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover, hanging by an extension cord in her Springfield home on April 6. Walker said her sixth-grade student at the New Leadership Charter School, was often the target of gay jokes and was threatened with physical violence on a daily basis. The young football and basketball athlete, who was also a Boy Scout, took his own life when anti-gay bullying and constant harassment became too much for him to endure. Since September, the boy’s mother made frequents phone calls to the school’s administrative staff and pleaded for them to address the situation but claims to have gotten minimal response.

Walker-Hoover’s suicide occurred just two weeks before the National Day of Silence. Thousands of students will participate in the annual event by taking a vow of silence to bring attention to anti-LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) bullying and harassment at school.

Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLESN) Executive Director, Eliza Bayard, said: “As we mourn yet another tragedy involving bullying at school, we must heed Ms. Walker’s urgent call for real, systemic, effective responses to the endemic problem of bullying and harassment. Especially in this time of societal crisis, adults in schools must be alert to the heightened pressure children face, and take action to create safe learning environments for the students in their care. In order to do that effectively, as this case so tragically illustrates, schools must deal head-on with anti-gay language and behavior.” Bayard added, “as was the case with Carl, you do not have to identify as gay to be attacked with anti-LGBT language.” She concluded, “our hearts go out to Carl’s mother, Sirdeaner L. Walker, and other members of Carl’s family, as well as to the community suffering from this loss.”

According to GLESN, this is the fourth suicide of a middle-school aged child linked to anti-gay bullying this year.

In a statement to Springfield Republican Sirdeaner said, “if anything can come of this, it’s that another child doesn’t have to suffer like this and there can be some justice for some other child. I don’t want any other parent to go through this.”


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