Six hundred people gathered this evening to remember Jaheem Herrera, an 11-year-old Atlanta-area boy who hanged himself at home after relentless anti-gay bullying at his elementary school. According to his family, Jaheem came home from school last Thursday and hanged himself with a belt in his bedroom closet.
The DeKalb County schools, where Jaheem attended elementary school, reportedly have an anti-bullying program in place. But one classmate reported witnessing a bullying incident in the boys room that was so severe that Jaheem passed out. According to Jaheem’s mother, she repeatedly complained to school officials about Jaheem’s harassment, but nothing was done.
This latest death follows two other recent bullying-related suicides. Eleven-year-old Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover of Springfield, Massachusetts hanged himself with an electrical cord after repeated bullying with gay taunts. Seventeen-year-old Eric Mohat of Mentor, Ohio killed himself after a classmate publicly dared him in class to shoot himself. He was repeaetedly called “queer,” “fag,” and “homo,” often in front of his teachers.