Friday, 10 April 2009

The power of hate and intimidation

I wasn't going to post today, and I had intended that my next post tomorrow would be a big bag of "we just cleared 100 posts w00t" etc. But that hardly seems appropriate given this news [via Shakesville]:

11-Year-Old Hangs Himself after Enduring Daily Anti-Gay Bullying

An 11-year-old Massachusetts boy, Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover, hung [sic] himself Monday after enduring bullying at school, including daily taunts of being gay, despite his mother’s weekly pleas to the school to address the problem. This is at least the fourth suicide of a middle-school aged child linked to bullying this year.

I encourage you to read the entire article, which I was moved to post considering how we in the Caribbean seem to feel that words are harmless, children should learn to be tough, and it is perfectly acceptable to call someone a buller, as part of a language of intimidation, without consequence. Well there are consequences, and this is what they look like.


  1. I was moved by reading this post to write my own post. I think that what got to me was the hypocrisy after the fact. Watching the vigil I could not help but think now these people care. Where were they when this boy and his mother were crying out for help? Now they can shed crocodile tears. I is all about their guilt. Schools need to be forced to enact their zero tolerance policy and ensure that each child has a hostile free learning environment in which to grow. When I read stories like this I know exactly why more and more parents are opting for home schooling. Bullying need not be part of the childhood experience if the adults make it clear that such behavior is unacceptable.

  2. Renee, I've never understood this whole 'schoolyard code' that protected bullies and kept parents and administration at the periphery. It's as if we suspend the whole notion that children need our guidance, and just allow them to 'socialize' however they want. I'm baffled by it.

  3. Exactly and it is ridiculous. If we don't correct them they grow to believe that demeaning people at their whim is right.


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