Bullying | News

CNN Covers Carl Walker-Hoover and 'Bullycide'

Carl

Anderson Cooper's AC360 takes on the Carl Walker-Hoover anti-gay bullying suicide story we've been following over the past week. Yesterday, the Advocate posted an interview with the boy's mother.

Watch CNN's coverage, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Comments

  1. What a nice looking boy. Such a tragedy.

    Posted by: The Milkman | Apr 15, 2009 11:16:28 AM


  2. Excruciating tragedy. Parents, school administrators, teachers, fellow students--nobody helped. He must have felt totally alone.

    We'll never know whether young Carl was gay, but the way that most OPENLY gay children survive this kind of abuse is through support from some family members, or a teacher or school administrator, or gay-friendly school mates; or most importantly, other gay kids. I had the last: a small group of fellow gays that were gay very early in life. We helped each other.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Apr 15, 2009 11:17:33 AM


  3. heartbreaking ... why aren't the Catholic Church and other "christian" groups being called out on this? they have all fought against the inclusion of LGBT in the bullying laws.

    Posted by: mike in nyc | Apr 15, 2009 11:21:12 AM


  4. Unfortunately, we'll probably see more of this in the future as gay rights becomes more prominent in society. The fact of the matter is, straight adults see gay taunting and bullying as rites of passage. We all know differently.

    Posted by: Terry | Apr 15, 2009 11:27:34 AM


  5. am i the only person that thinks administrators should be charged with involuntary manslaughter or something for their willful blindness of a clearly violent situation, thus being negligent with how they've handled this situation, which has clearly resulted in a wrongful death?

    Posted by: ian | Apr 15, 2009 11:35:07 AM


  6. @Ian

    Possibly but consider the standard of evidence in proving a criminal charge like that.

    A civil suit for damages might be the best for everyone concerned here. Or, who knows, the school may decide to settle.

    Posted by: Chitown Kev | Apr 15, 2009 12:13:13 PM


  7. But the real issue here is that students who use racial slurs are suspended or expelled, while using slurs based on sexual orientation is accepted by teachers, administrators and students as just "kids being kids." A 'bullying policy' is lip-service to the gay community and puts our at-risk youth in harms way.

    I read this sad story and think, "there but for the grace of God go I." Things have just not changed enough since I was in Jr High and High School in the late 70's.

    Posted by: Kevin | Apr 15, 2009 1:11:41 PM


  8. Please see moving video at link below set to the Elton John "Father & His Son" song created by the father of a 13-yr. old boy who committed suicide under similar circumstances 6 yrs ago.

    http://www.ryanpatrickhalligan.org/Ryan.wmv

    Ryan's father also worked to get two bills passed in Vermont: one to force schools to fight bullying & another to make them be more sensitive to signs of students' depression & suicidal tendencies.

    Finally, might fewer children be driven to kill themselves for being called gay, and fewer kids use it as an epithet if more priviliged public figure adults came out?

    Posted by: Leland Frances | Apr 15, 2009 1:42:57 PM


  9. This really isn’t about anti-gay bullying and abuse. It’s about stopping all bullying and abuse. The bullies used whatever came to hand or mouth – their hatred of gays. The principals and school district administrators didn’t protect either boy, just like they don’t protect most targets of bullying and abuse. That’s why we need laws to force principals to act and to protect them from countersuits by bullying parents of little terrorists.

    Also notice that none of the teachers or the other kids stood up to the bullies. Shame.

    We also can’t and shouldn’t count on schools to protect our children from hurt feelings all the time. We must help our children develop the inner grit and resilience to know how to protect themselves from verbal harassment as well as from physical abuse.

    Disclosure: In addition to having six children, I’m a practical, pragmatic coach and consultant. I’ve written books of case studies, “Parenting Bully-Proof Kids” and “How to Stop Bullies in their Tracks.” Check out my website and blog at BulliesBeGone (http://BulliesBeGone.com).

    Posted by: Ben Leichtling | Apr 15, 2009 3:24:44 PM


  10. Good for you, Ben, but while pint-sized monsters have existed throughout time, and they will exploit ANY "difference" to inflict pain on others from being "too fat" or "too thin" or "dumb" or "an egghead" or poverty or "class," the kink in your plan is that, more than in any other area, parents are often a part of the problem not the solution.

    It is not just that they don't help their children "develop inner grit and resilience" but that they too often share the bully's homophobic & transphobic attitudes about gender role expectation. So those victims typically aren't just getting it at school, they grow up internalizing that being gay or not fulfilling gender role expectations in whatever way, from body language to choice of clothes to personal interests, e.g., studying or "hanging out with the girls" instead of sports, is, in fact, wrong; that the bullies are "right." And the bullies believe they are, too, because their parents have "modeled" homo/trans hatred.

    Whether or not a given child is or is not gay or trans, or even is old enough yet to have any inkling, many fear the trauma of parents' responding to their stories of abuse with, "Well, ARE you? ... You better not be! ... No son/daughter of mine...."

    Schools universally teach that stealing is wrong, but there will always be kids who steal. Any measurable degree of success they might have in minimizing gay/gender role bullying will be in direct proportion to how much they also have programs to "normalize" gender role diversity AND play a role in sending the same message to parents of victims and victimizers alike.

    Posted by: Leland Frances | Apr 15, 2009 4:26:21 PM


  11. "And the bullies believe they are, too, because their parents have "modeled" homo/trans hatred."

    So true, Leland. Any school teacher can tell you that some of these parents are worse than their kids.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Apr 15, 2009 4:46:25 PM


  12. THIS IS SO AWFUL! ENOUGH IS ENOUGH, THE KIDS WHO PUSHED CARL TO HIS BREAKING POINT SHOULD BE SENT TO GET SOME THERAPY. THIS BULLYING HAS TO BE STOPPED NOW AND NEEDS TO BE TAKEN MUCH MORE SERIOUSLY. IT SHOULD NOT BE TOLERATED AT ALL. THESE KIDS NEED TO BE AWARE OF WHAT THEY DID TO CARL AND HIS FAMILY, THEY TOOK A LIFE! THESE BULLY'S ARE OLD ENOUGH TO KNOW BETTER AND THEIR PARENTS SHOULD ALSO BE HELD RESPONSIBLE AND SENT TO TAKE PARENTING CLASSES. IF I EVER HEARD MY CHILD WAS MEAN TO ANYONE OR A BULLY, IT WOULD BE STOPPED IMMEDIATLY. IT ALSO DOES NOT MATTER ONE BIT IF HE WAS OR WASN'T GAY, WHO CARES. ALL THAT MATTERS IS THAT ANOTHER PRECIOUS CHILD IS GONE BECAUSE OF BULLYING. IT'S JUST SO SENSELESS , MY HEART ACHES FOR CARL, HIS FAMILY & FRIENDS. I JUST HOPE FOR CARL'S SAKE SCHOOLS & THE PARENTS OF THESE MEAN KIDS PUT A STOP TO BULLYING AND PUNISH THESE KIDS FOR WHAT THEY DID. SEND THEM AWAY TO GET SOME SERIOUS HELP BEFORE THEY HURT SOMEONE ELSE!!

    Posted by: bethany | Apr 15, 2009 6:19:34 PM


  13. My heart is hurt. I have mixed emotions because this little boys funeral was Monday and I didn't see any coverage on this website. The only place I saw it covered was on the Black gay websites. I wonder if Anderson Cooper was not involved would it have been covered? Thank You Anderson Cooper for giving this some airtime. People give him shit but at least he's talking about this. I admit I dnn't watch Ellen not because of her but the time of day I get off work but where is Ellen. With Mathew Shepperd she was out there. Where is the Gay community. This little boy killed himself because he was Gay but the majority of the Gay community is more concern about American Idol and Adam Lambert how important it is. Well to me Lambert doesn't matter if a 11 yr old kills himself because he's seen as Gay. Shame on the Gay community for not talking about this more.

    Posted by: db | Apr 15, 2009 7:23:46 PM


  14. this is horrible , it turns my stomach, but the one thing i will say is MAYBE if the SCHOOL decided to quit being such pussy's and did something about these mean kids they would save alot of kids lives because all these schools that say "oh we are 0 tolerance" bullsh*t sorry, but in all honestly all schools say that but they wont do anything about any bullying they talk to the kids andthats about it... maybe if kids who were mean like this got a taste of it, or maybe ifthe school took further steps liek the mother of this boy wanted he wouldnt have had to take his own life, so in my opinion i hold the kids responsible who bullied him (MURDERS) and the school responsible. its sad what the society is coming to.

    Posted by: Jaycee | Apr 15, 2009 11:49:15 PM


  15. We send our children to school to get an education to become thriving members of society. No wonder some kids drop out of schoolas soon as they can with horrible situations being allowed to happen like this. I totally agree with a previous message, school administrators and teachers should be charged with involentary manslaughter when they do nothing to stop bullying from happening. "Zero Tolerance" sounds good, but if no one promotes it, what's the point.

    Posted by: Karen | Apr 16, 2009 9:37:52 AM


  16. My heart goes out to his family.

    He didn't this, if only he had one friend in the world who stood up in his defense he would still be living today.

    We are not perfect, but to bully someone to death is no mistake, it is an intentional act of murder. You slowly kill their spirit with words until their inside is crushed and you force them to self-destruct. Were a sick people. As much as there is good in us, there is also evil.

    and this is what that institution called "Religion" does to us, we think we can dirty ourselves in this world's filth. and this we think we can just clean up every Sunday. It sickens me as a follower of Christ. AND Those Religious Pricks think they are the ultimate authority on whats good and whats bad.

    Posted by: The Dude | Apr 17, 2009 12:11:18 AM


  17. I cannot agree more with the idea of putting school administrators. My best friend being gay, all the little "fags" here and there REALLY do affect her. It is absolutely disgusting that our soceity has gotten this low that it has young schoolchildren bringing someone to death. I do believe that it was not the children's fault, it is our own fault. What's in the media about gay and lesbian people, not to mention what churches teach about it. Being gay should not be the end of some poor child's life. But, if Carl happened to not be gay, this is just as much a repulsing and sad story. RIP Carl Walker.

    Posted by: Kaitlin | Apr 17, 2009 10:06:16 AM


  18. I give my heart out to his famliy and I will pray for them and i wish them the best>
    I cant belive that stuff like this is going on. Everyone should be treated equally, we are all people.

    Posted by: jatoya barnes | Apr 17, 2009 2:18:44 PM


  19. Im 14 years old and me and my sister 2 have been bullied. We stood up 4 one another. It ended when we got a police report on them. We now get along fine, it went on 4 about a year we hated it. I wish Carl would have had a helping hand. The teachers and school can and should be sued 4 child indangerment. God holds him now may he rest in peace and I pay my respects 2 his family especially his mom. Its the schools fault he took his life. For every parent out there take action in your childs life and tell them if they ever need to talk or anything tell me. Carl Walker Hoover is loved and missed. He was too young, heavan is where he now dwells. I hope the kids who caused him 2 do this live with guilt and get punished brutally. Today was Carls 12th birthday. I wish your family the best Carl. Even if he was gay why should those kids care about his sexual orentation. We all need 2 stand up and have a say in this and do sumthin about this and stop bullyin from hapenning to peoples kids. We all need 2 help one another.

    Posted by: Shantrice | Apr 18, 2009 12:51:04 AM


  20. i agree with ian's comment about charging the administration for this horrible act. It IS murder by suicide. The bullies should get some serious help.

    Posted by: Victoria | Apr 18, 2009 6:10:39 PM


  21. I was called queer before i knew what it meant, if only the bullying stopped at 11, i find the most unsupportive at work are the other gays, so let's fix that, people.

    Posted by: cd | Apr 21, 2009 9:15:09 AM


  22. The school district should be sued out of existence. The teachers and administrators are at fault. Clearly they think anti-gay bigotry is just fine, and that gay lives are worthless.

    Posted by: Mark | Apr 24, 2009 10:07:49 PM


  23. This is ridiculous. The little boy was most likely NOT gay, but according to his mother, was a very polite, well mannered, kind, caring young man, and that was perceived by classmates as "feminine" behavior. The fact that people are claiming her son was gay really bothered the mother, and angers me, not because I have anything against gays or lesbians, but because the horror of this incident isn't being realized with that misguided assumption. This little boy was called "gay" for being a GOOD kid, for having manners and for saying GOOD MORNING to TEACHERS when first walking into school. It is just ludicrous. Children in our society are growing up with the notion that in order to be masculine a young man has to talk and act like a little hoodlum or exhibit some kind of wild behavior! Because he was kind and caring, that meant he was gay? I am OUTRAGED! He was such a handsome little boy too and probably would have grown up to be a great man if his chance hadn't been taken away from him. My heart goes out to his family and I pray for him every time I hear his story.

    Posted by: Nandi | Apr 25, 2009 2:05:44 AM


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