On April 16, after returning from school, Jaheem Herrera, 11, went into his room and hung himself, according to the AJC.com. His mother, Masika Bermudez, and stepfather Norman Keene are blaming the students who constantly bullied Jaheem at the Dunaire Elementary School where he attended the fifth grade and the school for not taking his pleas seriously. Although the family was aware, they had no idea how far things had gone, as students called him gay and a snitch, according to his stepfather. Bermudez says she complained to the school but to no avail. DeKalb Public Schools are working to promote tolerance and inclusion through programs that help train students and staff to accept each other’s diversity and differences.
Less than three weeks ago, Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover, who was taunted by classmates for “acting gay,” committed suicide in his family’s home. He was also 11 years old.
The family is preparing to return to their native St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands to burry Jaheem.—WLW