Main | Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Georgia School District Rules That Dead Boy Was Not Bullied

Unbelievable. Over the cries of his mother, who says she complained to the school numerous times, the Dekalb County school district has ruled that there is no evidence that Jaheem Herrera was ever bullied. Herrera's mother found her 11 year-old son hanging from an extension cord.
Retired Fulton Superior Court Judge Thelma Wyatt Cummings Moore, who headed the review, said at a press conference the findings show Jaheem Herrera, 11, actively participated in several fights at Dunaire Elementary School during the school year. Jaheem hanged himself at home April 16. His mother, Masika Bermudez, broke down crying 13 minutes into the press conference. Bermudez has insisted her son killed himself after being constantly bullied at Dunaire and that she had complained to school officials several times. “My conclusion is there is no evidence of bullying at Dunaire,” said Moore, whom the school district brought in to oversee an internal review. “There is name-calling and teasing, but it is almost always done outside of any adult [being present]. There is a code of silence among the students.” More than a dozen people showed up to hear the findings at the school district’s headquarters on North Decatur Road near Clarkston, and reaction was swift and harsh. One man was forcibly removed from the building after he started shouting, “Shame!”
Six of Jaheem's teachers signed a statement saying that they had witnessed no bullying and that Jaheem appeared to be well-liked. The Herrera family is proceeding with a civil suit against the school district.

(Tipped by JMG reader Richard)

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