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charter school student hangs self following repeated bullying at school

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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-30-09 02:54 AM
Original message
charter school student hangs self following repeated bullying at school
She found Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover hanging by an extension cord on the second floor of their 124 Northampton Ave. home Monday night after he had endured another day of taunting at New Leadership Charter School, where he was a sixth-grader, she said.

"I just want to help some other child. I know there are other kids being picked on, and it's day in and day out," said Walker, 43...

She phoned the school repeatedly since Carl began attending in September but the bullying continued, she said.

Other students made him a target, daily calling him gay, making fun of how he dressed and threatening him, she said.

Carl had attended Alfred M. Glickman Elementary School up to fifth grade, but few of his friends accompanied him to New Leadership Charter School...

Henry M. Thomas III, chairman of the school's board of directors, failed to return repeated calls seeking comment.

Walker said she was upset with Thomas for failing to return her calls, as well.
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Prophet 451 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-30-09 03:41 AM
Response to Original message
1. Poor sod
I wonder how many more it's going to take before both of our countries get serious about dealing with the epidemic bullying that wrecks lives.
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Jamastiene Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-30-09 03:48 AM
Response to Original message
2. It's a shame a child died needlessly because no one would help.
What is even worse was that, whether this kid was gay or not, he was a victim of homophobia.

But, the single worst thing of all in this is that the school administrators at that school didn't care enough to ever call that mom back or protect that child.

I am disgusted at the human species for allowing that kind of hate, negligence, and indifference to destroy lives.

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Dinger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-30-09 07:52 AM
Response to Original message
3. That Is Tragic
And whether it is a charter or public school, the problem exists in all kinds of schools in all kinds of settings. We have an anti-bullying program at the school where I teach (public). It has many good points, but nothing is perfect. I tell my students that if there is a problem, tell an adult, and if nothing is done, keep telling. Don't give up, ever. I sincerely hope something is done so that this tragedy never happens again, and I hope there are meaningful consequences for all involved.
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MercutioATC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-30-09 08:13 AM
Response to Original message
4. Stories like this bring up an interesting question. Are we becoming a nation of ninnies?
(Disclaimer: Yes, bullying is bad. No, I don't support it.)

My generation (I'm 42) made do without bicycle helmets, skateboard pads, or seat belt use (and what protected you if a car crashed was a lot of modern engineering, antilock brakes, or airbags).

We had to be home when the streetlights came on, but our parents didn't know where we were all day...and we didn't have cell phones to check in with.

We broke thermometers so we could play with the mercury (hell, our science teachers let us play with mercury in class).

We sat in restaurants and movie theaters...and at dining room tables...with smokers. Heavy smokers.

We'd play in the dirt and visit any number of public places without the benefit of hand sanitizer.

We were vaccinated for about half the stuff kids these days are vaccinated for.

...and many of us were bullied. We either learned to avoid the bullies, made friends with bigger kids, or ran fast. We also learned (the hard way) that "if you stand up to a bully, he'll back down" is generally bullshit.

The generation before us endured all of this and more.

The generation before them had all of that, plus a depression. They got jobs when they were 10 to help feed their families.

...and, these days, kids kill themselves if they get picked on in school.

The undesirability of bullying aside, is it possible that we're just becoming a society of wimps?

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noamnety Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-30-09 08:24 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. I have issues with your post, and equating consumer protections with "ninnies."
Yes, in the old days we didn't have all these vaccines. And the result wasn't that we were "tougher." It was that most of us knew people who had polio, scarlet fever, etc.

Yes, in the old days it was assumed we should put up with second hand smoke. And it didn't make us tougher. It made us cancer patients.

Yes, in the old days people didn't use bicycle helmets or seat belts. My mom is not a "wimp" because she wears a seat belt. She's alive because she wears one.

The talking points in your post, which I've seen circulated in emails, are anti-consumer pro-corporate libertarian/right wing talking points. What's wrong with a little lead in your toys? Heck we had it in our paint when I was a kid, and we were just fine. Yeah, except for the kids who weren't just fine. We still deal with the effects of that in my area, with about 8% of the high school students in Detroit having some amount of lead poisoning. But hey, at least they aren't wimps.

The talking point that abuse by oppressors is something that people should just "deal with" is one that reinforces existing power structures (white straight male power structures). It's a notion that gives support to abusers, an attitude that is related to women staying in abusive relationships (just be strong, deal with it). It puts the blame on the victim, and emphasizes macho stereotypes over justice, respect, and human rights.
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JoeyT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-31-09 05:25 AM
Response to Reply #4
7. Picked on?
Edited on Thu Dec-31-09 05:31 AM by JoeyT
At my school we had a kid that was outright tormented by a group of kids day in and day out for years. Broken bones and stitches weren't an uncommon part of it. Once they tied him to a goalpost and beat him with a hose until his clothes were falling off. Any attempt to put a stop to it by other kids (You know, boys that didn't weigh less than 100 pounds like he did.) resulted in suspension for fighting. Of course that all came to a stop when one of them shoved him off the bleachers and broke his neck. By the way, turns out the kid was just mighty clumsy and "fell" off the bleachers and all those witnesses were wrong. Besides, kids will be kids and all. Ten bucks says at least fifty people on here could give similar stories. (Possibly with slightly less grim endings.)

I suspect you think "bullied" implies "said nasty things to". Most of the time it doesn't mean that at all. It means continual violence and abuse which is either unhindered or openly encouraged by authority figures.
You know those kids that bury animals up to the neck and run them over with a lawnmower or set them on fire? Those are the little bastards people are talking about when they refer to bullying. And that kind of person isn't about to be satisfied with taunting someone.

Edited to add: So no, being soft and ninnies doesn't come in to it. The only thing that does is the enabling of sociopaths.

Redited to add: So yeah, the good old days. You know why the "ninny" kids are living longer now? Because they don't die as children.
Sure, our great grandparents were tough people. They had to be. They watched half their siblings die of polio, smallpox, scarlet fever, etc. Not exactly something we'd want to go back to.
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Smarmie Doofus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-30-09 09:22 AM
Response to Original message
5. A miserable story. Wouldn't sex education help?
Edited on Wed Dec-30-09 09:23 AM by Smarmie Doofus
>>>>Other students made him a target, daily calling him gay, making fun of how he dressed and threatening him, she said. >>>>

This variety of sexual harassment... i.e. of kids who are perceived to be gay.... goes on everywhere.

The schools have dropped the ball on this one. Charter, or non-charter. Very few have sex-ed curricula for kids that age and almost NONE have curricula that teach that homosexuality is a normal, naturally-occurring phenomena in humans and other mammals... according to all the science that is available to us.

To *not* teach this science is the equivalent of perpetuating a lie... it seems to me.

And an *evil* lie at that.
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