An 11-year-old boy was found dead in an
apparent suicide Monday in Springfield, Massachusetts. The boy's
mother says school bullies tormented her son with daily assaults of
Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover hanged
himself by tying an electrical cord around his neck that was fastened
to a support beam in his home after enduring another day of being
taunted at New Leadership Charter School.
Sirdeaner L. Walker, the boy's mother,
said she had repeatedly called the school to intervene in the
bullying over the past six months. She said she called
administrators weekly to discuss the issue.
“They were always saying, 'you're
gay, you must be gay, you act like a girl',” Walker told
Springfield-based The Republican.
Carl told his mother that he had
received a five-day suspension for bumping into a girl, who shouted
at him and threatened him with harm, on the day he took his own life.
School officials deny the boy received a five-day suspension but
concede the boy was being punished for the episode.
“This tragic loss of life is the
latest example of why anti-LGBT defamation must be eradicated from
our culture,” said Neil G. Giuliano, president of the Gay &
Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), a media watchdog and gay
rights group, in a statement.
“Words matter and can turn what
should be a safe place for learning into a dangerous and isolating
[place] for many students – gay and straight – who regularly face
verbal and physical attacks,” he added.
Carl played football, basketball and
was a Boy Scout. Funeral services are planned for Monday at the
Celestrial Praise Church.