Opinion: Seeing Walker case, bullying will never stop

By Andy Harper
Sidelines, Middle Tennessee State U.
I’d like to think that I’m somewhat of an idealist. I’d like to think that world peace is achievable and the philosophy of “love your fellow man” isn’t just meaningless print on a Christmas card.

So why are kids like Carl Walker, 11, and Eric Mohat, 17, killing themselves? Maybe they’ve been listening to “Teenage Suicide” by Big Fun too much. Or maybe the vicious social hierarchy portrayed in movies like “The Heathers” is reality.

Sirdeaner Walker, mother of Carl, told members of the House Education Committee last week about her son. “What could make a child his age despair so much that he would take his own life? That question haunts me to this day, and I will probably never know the answer.”

“What we do know is that Carl was being bullied relentlessly in school.”

Her pitiful story was part of a plea for Congress to strengthen anti-bullying practices in our country’s education system. Walker, along with reps from the National Association of School Psychologists and “Students Against Violence Everywhere,” want more programs that involve an active approach to preventing bullying.

Walker said “faggot” and “gay” were some of the bullying slurs used against Carl. Likewise, William and Janis Mohat, parents of Eric, filled a federal lawsuit against their local Ohio school district because their son was harassed in a similar way. Full story.

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Bullying drives Ohio teen to suicide; parents sue

By Susan Donaldson James
ABC News
Eric Mohat, 17, was harassed so mercilessly in high school that when one bully said publicly in class, “Why don’t you go home and shoot yourself, no one will miss you,” he did.

Now his parents, William and Janis Mohat of Mentor, Ohio, have filed a lawsuit in federal court, saying that their son endured name-calling, teasing, constant pushing and shoving and hitting in front of school officials who should have protected him.

The lawsuit — filed March 27, alleges that the quiet but likable boy, who was involved in theater and music, was called “gay,” “fag,” “queer” and “homo” and often in front of his teachers. Most of the harassment took place in math class and the teacher — an athletic coach — was accused of failing to protect the boy.

“When you lose a child like this it destroys you in ways you can’t even describe,” Eric Mohat’s father told ABCNews.com. Full story.