Jaheem Herrera, the 11-year-old Atlanta boy who took his own life after months of relentless harassment and anti-gay bullying, was laid to rest in the Virgin Islands. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports from St. Croix:
More than 200 mourners crowded into the tiny funeral chapel, decorated with blue and white balloons, which sat upon a hill overlooking the Kingshill Cemetery here to bid farewell today to 11-year-old Jaheem Herrera.
Masika Bermudez, Jaheem’s mother, greeted well-wishers with a sad smile and a hug before breaking down in loud, gasping sobs as the body of her eldest child and only son was wheeled past her in a gleaming white coffin with gold trim.
An aunt, Ama Bermudez, recalled the time he spent living on the island with his grandparents and how their recent deaths affected him. His aunt urged mourners and the children in attendance to not let Jaheem’s death be in vain. "I call upon all the parents and children out there; don’t allow anyone to bully you in any which way or form," she said. "There must be a person you can trust to tell. You must put a stop to this immediately so that the reason we are here today won’t happen again. We are all hurting, but in spite of the circumstances, Jaheem is now resting. He’s not suffering anymore."
The DeKalb County District Attorney is considering filing criminal charges on behalf of Jaheem Herrera. The criminal investigation into the DeKalb County School District gains momentum as other parents say their sons were repeatedly bullied, harassed, "called gay" and beaten at the same school.
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