Massachusetts Legislature Passes Anti-Bullying Measure
April 29th, 2010
Both houses of the Massachusetts legislature approved an anti-bullying law spurred on by the deaths of two youths who committed suicide following episodes of bullying by their classmates. The unanimous votes in both houses was on a reconciling bill which ironed out difference in two earlier bills from each house. The legislation will require school employees to report all instances of bullying and require principals to investigate them. A spokesman for the governor’s office said that Gov. Deval Patrick (D) will review the bill, but that he saw its passage as a “top priority.”
The impetus for the bill came from the suicides of Phoebe Prince and 11-year-old Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover, who killed himself just over a year ago over taunts about his perceived sexuality.
Mother of Bullying Victim Speaks Out
April 24th, 2009
Sirdeaner Walker’s 11-year-old son, Carl Walker-Hoover, recently took his own life after having been continually harassed with anti-gay taunts. Yesterday, Sirdeaner appeared on Ellen DeGeneres’ show to tell her story and to plead for an end to bullying.
CNN on Anti-Gay Bullying
April 15th, 2009
CNN’s Anderson Cooper did a marvelous story last night on Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover and Eric Mohat, and the daily anti-gay bullying which drove these boys to kill themselves. He was buried on Friday. Meanwhile, Focus On the Family, Exodus, and the Alliance defense, among many others, continue to defend the current status quo which leads to more deaths of young people — including straight kids as well as gay.
The Consequences of Anti-Gay Bullying
April 13th, 2009
Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover was so mercilessly bullied with gay taunts that on Monday he tied an electrical cord around his neck and hung himself. He was eleven.
Carl is not alone. Anti-gay bullying is a serious problem in public schools. It is rampant, it is pervasive, and often times it is ignored by those responsible for preventing it.
In Mentor, Ohio, the high school doesn’t think it has a problem with bullying. So they are being sued by the parents of Eric Mohat with a lawsuit that doesn’t ask for money but instead that the administration implement an age-appropriate anti-bullying program. The Mohats feel that the school has ignored the reasons why Eric, who suffered from persistent anti-gay bullying, killed himself in 2007. He was one of four bullied Mentor High School students who committed suicide that year.
Considering that children are dying and that the cause is obvious, you’d think that everyone would support programs to stop the bullying. You’d think wrong.
Anti-gay activists consistently oppose any effort to target and prevent anti-gay bullying. They say that programs which identify specific targets, including those tormented for being perceived as gay, are really “indoctrination of homosexuality under the pretext of anti-bullying curriculum.”
And they would much rather let children die than muffle those “students and school officials who object to homosexuality.”
Incidentally, neither Carl nor Eric identified as gay. That didn’t protect them.