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April 17th, 2009
09:45 PM ET

Live Blog from the Anchor Desk 04/17/09

Tonight on 360°, bullied to death. A child taunted at school takes his own life. Who's to blame?

And could the school have stopped the teasing? Carl Joseph Walker Hoover’s mom says kids taunted him saying "you act gay" and "you look gay." Today thousands of students across America participated in a Day of Silence to draw attention to anti-gay harassment in schools. We’ll have all the angles.

And, don't miss Erica Hill's webcast on bullying and tonight's other headlines during the commercials. Watch our WEBCAST

Want to know what else we're covering tonight? Read EVENING BUZZ

Keep in mind, you have a better chance of having your comment get past our moderators if you follow our rules.

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Filed under: Live Blog
soundoff (483 Responses)
  1. Cristy Kirssin

    @Edward (Miami Beach)

    Welcome Aboard!!!! Nice to have you!!

    April 17, 2009 at 10:42 pm |
  2. Esma

    Thank you for your bravery, Ms. Walker, I'm actually crying right now. Thank you thank you thank you.

    April 17, 2009 at 10:41 pm |
  3. Paula

    My son is 12 and he is being bullied. He attends an int'l school with an American curriculum. Why is it so difficult for the school to acknowledge and resolve the middle school bullying?

    April 17, 2009 at 10:41 pm |
  4. laura

    My sincere condolences to Carl's mother. I lost my daughter(leukemia), it is the worst thing that can happen to a person. She is great to talk about it to try to help save others from the same fate.

    April 17, 2009 at 10:41 pm |
  5. Cherry B - Ms

    Been pregnant. Sorry, don't know how you can miss that one!

    April 17, 2009 at 10:41 pm |
  6. Brandi - bottom of the boot

    my heart and prayers are with you Mrs. Hoover, please dont give up fighting for your son, you have made farther than I did in fighting for my son. No attorney wanted to touch. You have my full support.

    And Happy Birthday Carl. My son would be getting his license next month.

    God Bless you and your family.

    April 17, 2009 at 10:41 pm |
  7. David Gergen

    Hello everyone - Thank you for joining in tonight. In our conversation about the memos the President and his administration released yesterday, Mark Danner made some good and useful comments.

    At the same time, those who have so caustically attacked the Bush Justice Department and the CIA for the harsh (tortutuous) interrogation techniques should pay heed to what President Obama's general intelligence chief, Admiral Blair, said today - namely, that it is a lot easier to be hyper-critical today when the sun is shining and the threat seems to have passed than when U.S. government officials - in the aftermath of the worst attack on our soil in our history - were trying very hard to find out who was behind it and to make sure it didn't happen again. Yes, they went too far and let us salute President Obama in releasing the memos and putting an end to all torture. But the President himself has shown a great deal of moderation and restraint in how he has responded to all this - and I think he is setting a good example for us all.

    April 17, 2009 at 10:40 pm |
  8. Gloria, Brooklyn, NY

    I think the teachers need to speak up when they see and hear students doing something wrong to other students in school.

    April 17, 2009 at 10:40 pm |
  9. Phillip Deng

    My question is where did bullying occurred? During recess? I am sorry but the death of this young boy would had been prevented!

    April 17, 2009 at 10:40 pm |
  10. Isabel (Brazil)

    @ David, Indiana

    The victory of @aplusk surprises me when I think that force a public person has. From Tuesday until yesterday, the world almost stopped to follow it!

    I just hope that public people take responsibility and maturity to deal with this collective passion.

    April 17, 2009 at 10:40 pm |
  11. Elaine, Des Moines, IA

    Yes Ms. Walker is a pillar of strength....Carl seemed to be a wonderful young man. I agree tolerance should be taught at home....it can't be said enough.

    April 17, 2009 at 10:40 pm |
  12. Sandra Robertson, GA

    Good evening Anderson and Erica. I won't read the details of our torture techniques; I know it's very, very ugly just like bullying is wrong and shameful behavior. Carl was a very good, nice looking, intelligent child who was driven to desperation by taunting and constant torture.
    God Bless his family and all other children and families who are suffering through bullying. Good night Anderson. By the way, all at CNN are winners.

    April 17, 2009 at 10:40 pm |
  13. Fay - California

    Sirdeana Walker is a very strong woman – the horrific way in which she discovered her son the day he died is something that no one should ever have to go through – as is the terrible torment that her son Carl went through.

    April 17, 2009 at 10:40 pm |
  14. Joel

    Schools need to crack down on bullying regardless of whether it's about race or sexual orientation. As a youth worker for over 10 years, I have seen again and again the damage that words cause.

    April 17, 2009 at 10:40 pm |
  15. gail

    @Erica
    So am I Erica! What a beautiful display of love for a child!

    April 17, 2009 at 10:40 pm |
  16. Renee

    This Mom sees so calm. It hits me as odd. I would be a mess.
    Carl seems like a nice young man.

    April 17, 2009 at 10:40 pm |
  17. Emma

    @Erica, I agree. She has incredible strength...I cannot even begin to imagine how she must be feeling.

    April 17, 2009 at 10:40 pm |
  18. Miss J

    I'm so sorry Brandi.

    April 17, 2009 at 10:40 pm |
  19. Dana in Baltimore

    Bullying is unacceptable...no child should feel threatened or uncomfortable at school no matter what. The administration should be accountable for protecting our children while in school......

    April 17, 2009 at 10:40 pm |
  20. Cristina, Long Island

    The story of young Carl absolutely breaks my heart. Schools need to do MUCH more about bullying, so this never happens to another child, or family again. Teachers and other school officials should have been aware of what was going on. This incident should have never happened. My heart goes out to his family.

    April 17, 2009 at 10:39 pm |
  21. RB Baker

    What a tragedy. Carl rest in peace.

    April 17, 2009 at 10:39 pm |
  22. Anthonia-california

    The students that were bashing the little boy carl really need consuling.Bullying just can't go on anymore..it just can't

    April 17, 2009 at 10:39 pm |
  23. Maureen T, Canada

    As a mother I admire Mrs. Walker's strength! I don't know if I could be so together on what would've been this young man's 12th birthday! God bless her!

    April 17, 2009 at 10:39 pm |
  24. Cherry B - Ms

    @Erica
    Thanks so much for the posting Scott Case's blog site. Sure worth a read.

    April 17, 2009 at 10:39 pm |
  25. Michelle D . Fonthill. Ont

    Teachers sometimes foster being everyone's freind rather than taking action to stop bullying too it happened at my high school .I sometimes wonder if the schools are more to blame than the bulliies in the school yard.

    April 17, 2009 at 10:39 pm |
  26. Dave in San Diego

    Anderson,

    I have to say THANK YOU for bring up the Carl Walker-Hoove! This is such a rampant issue throughout this country. My thoughts are with this boys family. I know his mother says she didn't think he was gay, but it also sounded as if she didn't know for sure. It doesn't matter whether he was or not, what matters is something needs to be done about the bullying. So I thank you so much for focusing as much time to this issue as you have tonight.

    April 17, 2009 at 10:39 pm |
  27. Samantha M.

    sounds like that school had some serious bully issues. how unfortunate these kids hate at such a young young age.

    April 17, 2009 at 10:39 pm |
  28. Jolene, St. Joseph, MI

    @Erica: The whole Twitter contest was amazing. Glad it brought attention to a good cause. Watching the celebrities and CNN getting into twittering has been fun to follow.

    April 17, 2009 at 10:39 pm |
  29. Dodie from Irvine, CA

    Erica Hill. I was just thinking that exact thing. His mother is so strong. I do not think I could hold back the tears if I was discussing my son's death.

    I am surprised she is not enraged toward the school.

    April 17, 2009 at 10:39 pm |
  30. Emma

    It was never confirmed that he was actually gay. From what I've heard, he was called gay by other kids.

    April 17, 2009 at 10:39 pm |
  31. Papa Gee

    Torture is a relative term.................especially in the heat of battle.
    Nations do not gain support or respect from allies based on their adherence to a treaty on proper treatment of captured soldiers.

    April 17, 2009 at 10:39 pm |
  32. Rikki, Fargo, ND

    I admire Sirdeaner and the strength that she has to be able to come on TV and talk about what her son went through so soon after he passed away.

    Kids can be so cruel...

    April 17, 2009 at 10:38 pm |
  33. Nattada, Houston TX

    The kids world is somewhat the indicator of our world in the near future. They are the future social's members. Some of how they act, they got it from seeing everyday at home. Yet, some of it is just individual thing. I think some gay kid, they are too young to know what it is like to be gay.

    Gay issues, gangs problems, bullying and torture, mass shooting, discrimination, etc. All this and more may be able to prevent, starting at home and school, from parents and teachers.

    April 17, 2009 at 10:38 pm |
  34. Megan Dresslar - Shoreline, WA

    My heart goes to his mom (Ms. Walker) My thoughts and prayer with her.

    April 17, 2009 at 10:38 pm |
  35. Jo Ann, North Royalton, Ohio

    I don't think eleven year olds know if they are gay or not and what difference does it make? There is no excuse to bully anyone.

    April 17, 2009 at 10:38 pm |
  36. Rafael Bronx,NY

    That's just sad about that kid. Being bullied is bad in schools and anywhere else. I hope this kind of issue could be prevented next time.

    April 17, 2009 at 10:38 pm |
  37. Michelle

    God bless Carl's mother. She is strong
    and no mother should not have to go
    through this.

    April 17, 2009 at 10:38 pm |
  38. Cessy, Chicago

    shame on those kids and school personnel. what has the school done to prevent this from happening again?

    April 17, 2009 at 10:37 pm |
  39. Vanessa, TX

    Hi Everyone...a little late but glad to make it..My question is, how do you distinguish a "bully" from a word from a child who's just mad and made a comment at the wrong time? I have a child & I talk to her about bullying.

    April 17, 2009 at 10:37 pm |
  40. Ebony Barton

    I think bullying is a horrible thing and it really should be more enforced. I was bullied when I was a kid and it does make a person feel horrible.

    April 17, 2009 at 10:37 pm |
  41. Miss J

    Carl very well could have been gay. She does not know... but her point is taken that regardless – what he experienced was wrong.

    April 17, 2009 at 10:37 pm |
  42. ericacnn

    I am in awe of Sideaner Walker.

    I can't imagine having the strength to talk about my son so soon after his passing, and yet we are all so privileged that she is able and willing to do so. She is an inspiration.

    We were talking about the National Day of Silence after last night's show, and I was really pleased to learn several of my colleagues' children's schools were participating.

    April 17, 2009 at 10:37 pm |
  43. Maria

    Carl story is pain

    April 17, 2009 at 10:37 pm |
  44. Cherry B - Ms

    I realize teachers everywhere have their hands full all the time, as do the school administrators, but something or someone needs to be put in place in every school to monitor this kind of thing. I just don't know how this chld' s mother can be so brave right now.

    April 17, 2009 at 10:36 pm |
  45. Casey Jones - Palm Springs, CA

    I appreciate AC avoiding the obvious abusive words when he speaks.

    April 17, 2009 at 10:36 pm |
  46. Michelle D . Fonthill. Ont

    This tweeting is taking over the world someone make it stop !

    @ Casey great idea for contest between Anderson and Ellen i would rather him play aww snap if he looses.

    April 17, 2009 at 10:36 pm |
  47. Carmella

    May her son rest in peace, no more turmoil, no more fear, no more, no more. He now has peace with with God.

    April 17, 2009 at 10:36 pm |
  48. karen

    when i was a kid we all teased, called names, etc. why now our are kids weak, because of the way society will not allow kids to be brave take care of themselves, stand up for themselves? i feel sorry for that boy but, why did he feel the need to take his life? i feel more was going on on his life. just like the internet bully, damn dont these kids learn self estem dont they have any.? my kids would never hurt thierselves because of others comments. i grew up with sticks and stone will break your bones, words will not hurt me.

    April 17, 2009 at 10:36 pm |
  49. Megan Dresslar - Shoreline, WA

    Erica,
    I heard that she doesn't know having pregnant, I haven't see news yet, How is baby doing, or how is mom doing? Was she surprised or not?

    April 17, 2009 at 10:35 pm |
  50. gail

    bullying is unacceptable. I feel for this woman. Her beautiful son is gone. Children need to be taught how wrong this is.

    April 17, 2009 at 10:35 pm |
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