Leftist commentary from a mouthy bitch

The Hard Price of Bullying


The link is to an interview with the mother eleven year old Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover who committed suicide after a protracted campaign of bullying and harassment committed against him by other students at his school. The harassment included anti-gay taunts, although Carl did not identify as gay. His mother called the school repeatedly asking them to do something about it. Their efforts were ineffectual at best, negligent at worst.

As someone who suffered bullying in the form of name-calling, physical abuse, rape and even once being hit by a car, and who is married to someone who got into fights with his bullies every day he went to high school, this story hits me hard.

His mom, unlike mine, actually tried to address the bullying. She called the school repeatedly. And Carl did something in the days just prior to his suicide that many victims of bullies are encouraged to do: He confronted one of his bullies. And then killed himself less than a week later.

This year’s Day of Silence (http://www.advocate.com/exclusive_detail_ektid78827.asp) falls on what would have been Carl’s 12th birthday. As such, many people are dedicating the Day of Silence to Carl. The Day of Silence site talks about the whys of it and gives ideas for following it, including a Twitter feed.

Maybe there will be a more substantive post on bullying later, but this is a little too close to home for right now.

13 comments on “The Hard Price of Bullying

  1. julzerator
    April 16, 2009

    I was also bullied. I don’t wish people like Billy Covey on anyone. He taunted me mercilessly about my body and sex and other things in our classes together. He and his compadres would try to bounce pennies off my ass… (cause it was so huge… and it really wasn’t back then)
    I also had pretty ineffectual parents.. they were bullying me at home too… but that is another issue.
    I wish Carl could have gotten the support and help he needed from his school… this shit needs to stop.


  2. javagoth
    April 16, 2009

    That makes me very sad.
    I had to stop reading the comments too – when will I ever learn! People don’t read for comprehension – it wasn’t about him being gay and if it wasn’t that it’d be something else. They obviously overlooked the mothers comment of concern over his friend who is fat.
    I had minimal experience with the typical sort of bully but I dealt with being teased and derided because of being fat Every. Single. Day. I thought about suicide a lot in those days…


  3. annetangent
    April 16, 2009

    My sister was bullied to the point of PTSD and the school did nothing. They blamed it on her and basically said if she weren’t weird, people wouldn’t harass her and referred to it as teasing. Ugh. I hate bully apologists in the school systems.


    • polimicks
      April 16, 2009

      Oh yeah, every time we moved I got the “please just TRY to be normal” from my mom.
      Yeah, that was gonna work.


      • garpu
        April 16, 2009

        Oh yeah. Got that one, too. Not as nicely put, though.


      • annetangent
        April 22, 2009

        I loved when the psychiatrists would tell the principal that it would take a certain amount of time to help my sister and she would make up her own timeline unrelated to professional advice and punish my sister for not following it.


  4. templar46_2
    April 16, 2009

    people have no idea. god those idiots in the comments make me sick, i should have known better than to even look at them.
    I was tortured every single day for years on end. a “good day” was when i wasn’t beaten up more than twice.
    this makes me angry… i can’t really think straight so this response is pretty shallow. I’ve typed out a few attempts at a real comment, and had to delete it each time. blarg.


  5. garpu
    April 16, 2009

    Do I really want to read the comments? Somehow I know I’ll wind up reading them…


    • javagoth
      April 16, 2009

      No. As Loree often says “people are stupid and we should throw rocks at them!”
      Some are OK but some are so incredibly ignorant you want to track the people down and cleanse them from the gene pool!


      • garpu
        April 16, 2009

        Ugh, I shouldn’t have looked. The end of “Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back” comes to mind.


  6. terajjin
    April 16, 2009

    I was bullied.
    I was depressed by age 8.
    I was suicidal by the time I was that poor child’s age.
    I went to the office with fresh bruises and bleeding scrapes from where my classmates took turns for 30 minutes throwing me up against a wall and was told I was faking.
    My teacher told me I’d get detention, suspended and/or expelled if I snitched on anymore of my classmates; I held a needle in my arm that night full of my dad’s insulin that my Spirit Guides/Guardian Angels/latent Self-preservation instinct (whatever you want to call it) stopped me from actually injecting.
    My parents? Told by the school it was my parents fault I was suicidally depressed.
    My Doctors? Put me on an adult dosage of Prozac and then doubled it to the maximum “safe” adult dosage of Prozac and kept me on it for four years.
    That was “handling” bullying nearly 20 years ago. I’m fucking LIVID that this is still how they handle bullying now. Nothing ever changes.
    That poor, poor child.


  7. morinon
    April 16, 2009

    I would usually try to fight back. It wouldn’t always work.


  8. madarab
    April 16, 2009

    I would to my best to ignore them, but that didn’t make them go away. Growing up as an Arab here in the late 70s and 80s was a joy.


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This entry was posted on April 16, 2009 by in Uncategorized.

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