On April 6, just before dinner, Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover, a Massachusetts boy who had endured relentless homophobic taunts at school, wrapped an extension cord around his tiny neck and hanged himself. He was only 11 years old. His mother had to cut him down.
On April 16, just after school, Jaheem Herrera, a Georgia boy who had also endured relentless homophobic taunts at school, wrapped a fabric belt around his tiny neck and hanged himself as well. He too was only 11 years old. His 10-year-old sister found him.
Two beaming little boys, lost. To intolerance? Too tragic.
A July study conducted by researchers at Yale School of Medicine that was published in the International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health reviewed 37 other studies from 13 countries and found “signs of an apparent connection” between bullying and suicide. From a statement issued about the report:
“Almost all of the studies found connections between being bullied and suicidal thoughts among children. Five reported that bullying victims were two to nine times more likely to report suicidal thoughts than other children were.”
...the study also found that “the perpetrators who are the bullies also have an increased risk for suicidal behaviors.” Many bullies are victims too - wounded souls stumbling through life, knocking things over, crying out for help, trying to fill a void.
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Charles Gibson reports below:
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