Ousted sailor says Navy’s anti-gay hazing led to PTSD

Stars and Stripes
WASHINGTON — Former Petty Officer 3rd Class Joseph Rocha says he suffered post-traumatic stress disorder after being physically and sexually abused by fellow sailors over a two-year period. But after a Navy investigation into widespread hazing allegations within the unit, the only sailor discharged was Rocha, because he also admitted that he is gay.
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Jaheem Herrera suicide inspires town hall on bullying

Southern Voice
Young people will have the chance to speak out about their brushes with bullying at a town hall meeting Aug. 15 at the Hyatt Regency hosted by the Georgia Coalition Against Bullying.

The meeting is part of an ongoing response to the April 16 suicide of Jaheem Herrera, an 11-year-old fifth grader at Dunaire Elementary School. Herrera killed himself after enduring constant bullying by classmates, including being called “gay,” alleges his family.
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School bullying can be devastating, lawmakers hear

By Carrie Wells
McClatchy Newspapers
WASHINGTON — Sirdeaner Walker was cooking dinner on April 6 when she went upstairs to check on her 11-year-old son, Carl Walker-Hoover, who’d gotten into a fight that day at school and seemed upset.

All year, bullies had been making his life miserable, calling him a “faggot” and threatening to kill him, and when Walker went upstairs, she found Carl with an extension cord wrapped around his neck, hanging from the ceiling.

“What could make a child his age despair so much that he would take his own life?” said Walker, of Springfield, Mass.

On Wednesday, Walker and others came before two congressional education subcommittees to tell them that bullying is a national crisis. School officials, the witnesses said, must halt what they called an atmosphere of complacency that can have devastating effects on children long into adulthood. Full story.

Putting an end to anti-gay bullying

The suicides of 11-year-olds Jaheem Herrera and Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover in April have refocused many people’s attention on the problem of anti-gay bullying. Both boys committed suicide after enduring anti-gay bullying at school.

Two-thirds of students report being bullied, according to Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) data from 2005, yet some groups of students are disproportionately targeted for harassment. Nearly 90 percent of LGBT students polled in a GLSEN study reported being verbally harassed in school, while less than a fifth reported that teachers intervened on the student’s behalf upon overhearing derogatory remarks. Full story.

Church leaders asked to support diversity education

By Peter Hegarty
San Jose Mercury News
ALAMEDA — Local leaders of the United Church of Christ are calling on their fellow pastors and ministers to support teaching diversity and multicultural education in public schools in response to the issue coming under fire when it was proposed here and in Castro Valley.

The local representatives are asking 900 delegates from across the country who are now attending the church’s General Synod in Grand Rapids, Mich., to approve a resolution which backs diversity lessons, saying they reflect Jesus’ command for people to love their neighbors.

“Children and youth are dying, literally dying, because they have not heard this message of hope,” said the Rev. Dr. Arlene Nehring, senior minister at Eden United Church of Christ in Hayward.

Nehring and other local church leaders decided to propose the resolution after controversy erupted over Castro Valley High School’s “Day of Diversity” program, as well as over the lesson plans within the Alameda Unified School District that aim to curb anti-gay teasing and bullying on the playground. Full story.

CBS: Pediatricians tackle bullying

By Kelly Wallace
CBS News
One group of doctors is taking on bullying. They’re coming out with some ideas on ways to halt the violence that 8 percent of kids say happens to them every day; another 7 percent say it happens every week.

CBS News correspondent Kelly Wallace reports that YouTube generation did not invent bullying, but has made it more visible.

Thousands of no holds barred videos are posted online. It appears the violence in them is getting worse.

Thirteen-year-old eighth grader Daniel Warburton can relate. He’s been relentlessly bullied since the fourth grade. At first, it was name-calling.

He was called, “names like faggot, gay,” Daniel said, “they would use very vile words.” Full story.

Kelly Wallace blogs about alarming rate of bullying.