Jason Howard Green

Jason Howard Green

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

A Town Mourns and a Mother Reacts

Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover was the 11 year old kid that took his own life last week after months of bullying and anti-gay slurs from classmates. Unfortunately his cries for help went unheard from his schools administration (inspite of repeated calls from his mom to the school asking them to intervene). Learn more about the story here.

Now Carl's mom is speaking out against homophobia and against bullying and against schools that do nothing to put an end to this implorable behaviour. The school involved (New Leadership Charter School of Springfield, Massachussetts) initially refused to make any comment about the incident. That's the part that infuriated me the most. There should have been an apology to this mother from the school the moment this story came out.

Ironically, Carl's birthday is this Friday, April 17 which is also the National Day of Silence. The day was generated to bring attention to anti-gay name calling, bullying and harrassment in schools. I know we want to tell our kids, "sticks and stones may break our bones but names will never hurt us." Well the truth is that names do hurt. Words can cut as deep as a knife. And it's when were young and impressionable and only want to fit in that names hurt the worse. So encourage everyone (because we all have a realm of influence so use your power) to beware of the words you use because you could be hurting someone and not even be ware of it.

But I'm not justifying the reaction of this school or the actions of these bullies because they were aware of what they were doing and should be ashamed of the catastrophy they've caused. Wanda Sykes made the PSA almost seven months ago, before she came out, and I think it is very befitting for this moment. Check it out here.

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