"Bullied to Death" is an excellent editorial in the Boston Globe on the Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover tragedy. The editors discuss the 500 pound gorilla in the living room—that bullying of young boys is often much harsher in the inner cities:
Relentless bullying, including anti-gay slurs, by students at the New Leadership Charter School in Springfield pushed sixth-grader Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover to take his own life, according to his mother. The quality of interventions by school officials is unclear. But an act so desperate by one so young is a clear reminder of how schools can become torture chambers for students perceived as different.
Massachusetts led the nation in 1993 by crafting an anti-discrimination law for gay and lesbian students. But the law is only as effective as the educators who implement it. And the stakes can be higher in poor, urban districts like Springfield, where nonconformity too often draws aggressive attention. Teachers or administrators who ignore even a single degrading comment in that environment can open the door to a world of pain.
Only two weeks after Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover's death, 11-year-old Jaheem Herrera in Georgia took his life. Jaheem was also mercilessly bullied and called "gay".
Bullying is much more intense in poor, urban school districts because this is where children (and their "parents") are taught to glorify "thug" culture. So it becomes unfortunately all-too-common in the black community to taunt and harass boys and young men who do not act like thugs. How many more children have to be bullied to death until we learn this wrong?
Bullied to Death [Boston Globe]
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Funeral for Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover [R20]