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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.

Here are some of them:

1) Keep it short (we don't have time to read a "book")

2) Don't write in ALL CAPS (there's no need to yell)

3) Use your real name (first name only is fine)

4) No links

5) Watch your language (keep it G-rated; PG at worst - and that includes $#&*)

And take a look at our live web camera from the 360° studio. Watch the WEBCAM


Filed under: Live Blog
soundoff (483 Responses)
  1. Anthonia-california

    Lol, that was funny! lols i cant believe either wife nor husband knew that they were going to have ANOTHER BABY! lol

    April 17, 2009 at 10:46 pm |
  2. Dr. Edward Shuherk

    I am a Family Physician in Iowa. I have a partner. We live openly here. People in Iowa are generally discreet if they are anything. I feel heartbroken when I see things like this. I will NOT allow bullying in any form in my clinic or in our neighborhood.

    April 17, 2009 at 10:46 pm |
  3. Tricia

    I'm so sick and tired of school teachers, principals, and board members worrying more about whether they followed their school's policy than whether the bullies are getting appropriate discipline. And yes, you can patrol the bathrooms.

    April 17, 2009 at 10:46 pm |
  4. Vanessa, TX

    as a mother, I'm in shock as to how she did not know she was pregnant!

    April 17, 2009 at 10:46 pm |
  5. noelle

    unbelievable. How can the principal, teachers, teachers aides, etc. not feel completely responsible for this? There needs to be more training for adults to deal with bullying in schools. Kids are going to do it, but if they realize there are real consequences for their actions they will stop.

    April 17, 2009 at 10:46 pm |
  6. Helene

    so sad....the bullying between kids. such a difficult & scary problem!

    April 17, 2009 at 10:46 pm |
  7. Caroline, Los Angeles

    How big or small was that baby? "Gained a little weight?" A little??

    April 17, 2009 at 10:46 pm |
  8. anissa

    I am going to keep carl's family in my prayers. This is a sad story that no mother should have to deal with. I just saw andersons special with his mom, and she's right. It all starts in the home but its also society and the way were made to accept somethings and not others. This school should be held accountable. Don't show remorse and you really don't care about the kids.

    April 17, 2009 at 10:46 pm |
  9. Isabel (Brazil)

    @ Erica Hill

    I agree with you! And for we mothers our children are always so fragile. The desire to defend them is endless!

    And my son is only 3 years! 🙂

    April 17, 2009 at 10:46 pm |
  10. andersoncnn

    devastatingly sad.

    April 17, 2009 at 10:46 pm |
  11. Jacqueline, NY

    It happens! My mommy didn't know her seventh one was on his way until he arrived. It happens!

    April 17, 2009 at 10:46 pm |
  12. andersoncnn

    devastatingly sad.

    April 17, 2009 at 10:46 pm |
  13. Ken

    The issue is lack of parenting skills. I watch and listen to parents with their children and they do not reprimand them when they are rude. These same children then go to school and bully other kids. Teachers are expected to intervene. It is the job of the PARENT to raise their kids and ensure that they know how to behave. We are raising a soceity of spoiled, rude, and disrespectful kids. PARENTING requires consistency and constant positive reinforcement of good behavior and no toleration of poor behavior.

    April 17, 2009 at 10:46 pm |
  14. Dodie from Irvine, CA

    @ David Gergen

    I am thrilled that President Obama released the memos and putting an end to all torture. Thanks for keeping us informed!

    Awesome job!

    April 17, 2009 at 10:46 pm |
  15. Lori from IL

    @David Gergen - I love that we have a president who is showing "moderation and restraint."

    April 17, 2009 at 10:46 pm |
  16. John, MD

    Hey, how much does the baby weigh? amazing that shed didn't know that was pregnant.

    April 17, 2009 at 10:46 pm |
  17. Rebekah

    oh wow, that surprise pregnancy just made me laugh. just... oh goodness. haha

    April 17, 2009 at 10:45 pm |
  18. Fred

    David.... your the best analyst on CNN....when you give your comments I stop and listen... you're always on the mark...whether I agree or not.... keep up the great work...

    April 17, 2009 at 10:45 pm |
  19. Kelley in the Quad Cities

    In regard to stopping bullying in schools, I would suggest that more tolerance education be taught throughout all school systems both private and public. There have been tolerance classes taught in our school system here, that educates young people about making judgements of each other. This touches on race, religion, physical looks, gender, sexual preference etc... Then provide the same optional classes for their parents!

    April 17, 2009 at 10:45 pm |
  20. Fay - California

    I don't get how women don't know when they're pregnant – there has to be *some* sign during all those months...

    April 17, 2009 at 10:45 pm |
  21. Dee

    The bullying may have continued with or without the school intervening. School is only from 9-3, this awful taunting causes trauma all day.

    April 17, 2009 at 10:45 pm |
  22. Sonja Fry

    It is so true what Carl's mother said, a child learns from their own parents. All the kids in Car's school are not bullies, but the one's that are bullies make it hard to attend school for others. Parents need to parent their children, it's not up to the school. But I can say this, if bullying is going on in the school then the administrators have to put an immediate stop to it, maybe they need to have the bullies parents come to class with their kids to watch their destructive behavior. Bullying is not a new issue, there are many organizations that address the problem, too bad it's a little too late for Carl and his mom.

    April 17, 2009 at 10:45 pm |
  23. Scott M. Danville VA

    Schools need to take a zero tolerance approach to bullying. They need to be more proactive and have assemblies to address the problem.

    April 17, 2009 at 10:45 pm |
  24. Emma

    Yikes, what a surprise!

    April 17, 2009 at 10:45 pm |
  25. Michele Rossi, LCSW

    There have been bullies as long as there have been children–but adults were not afraid to discipline children–I don't mean corporal punishment–I mean ALL of us acting as "elders" at all times– not just if it's OUR child, or OUR student, etc. I worked in a school for a while–and watched adults allow children to LITTER on the floor of the school and not admonish them because they were "off duty." We are NEVER off duty the children in our society....

    THAT'S what need to happen. We need to take back our responsibility as adults as elders....

    April 17, 2009 at 10:45 pm |
  26. Cristy Kirssin

    This 911 call is crazy!!! I have never heard anything like it before!!

    April 17, 2009 at 10:45 pm |
  27. Lauren--NY

    Brandi, I am so terribly sorry for your loss and that you had to go through that. I'm not a mother, but I still can't imagine anything more horrifying than that. Thank you for sharing your story with us. ❤

    April 17, 2009 at 10:45 pm |
  28. Donata, Amarillo, TX

    Ms. Walker I honor your couragous effort to educate people about this issue. I will use your strength to keep informing and educating as well. I am so sorry for your loss, Carl was a beautiful child.

    April 17, 2009 at 10:45 pm |
  29. Melinda

    This is truly sad. Schools do have resources to help the staff stop the bullying. We had a leader come that was from the police force to give information and show how many of these acts are the same as acts you could get arrested for if older.
    Basically, teachers need to keep their eyes open, especially during lunch, recess, passing periods, etc. Bullies are smart and sneaky and these large group times are when bullying happnens. Being a victim of bullying, you never ever forget it as it does scar you.

    We all need to take this seriously.

    April 17, 2009 at 10:45 pm |
  30. Caroline, Los Angeles

    Hi all,

    OK, there are many things I do not understand. This 911 call is #1 I think.

    April 17, 2009 at 10:45 pm |
  31. Ramesh

    I agree with the guests. Hatred is a learned value, whether at home or church. As long as society treats gay people as less than equal to straight people, these sort of things will keep happening.

    April 17, 2009 at 10:44 pm |
  32. David, Indiana

    Great discussion with David Gergen and Mark Danner.

    I agree with Ms Walker, parents have to teach their children to be accepting of others, at least considerate and respectful. She has my deepest condolences. In general as a society kids need to be getting way more attention than they are getting now. Too much politics.

    Very good point Erica in the webcast.

    April 17, 2009 at 10:44 pm |
  33. Nattada, Houston TX

    The problem is the parents and teachers alike still doing all those name calling, and acting against gay people. It is like saying that smoking is bad, but the parents are smoking.

    April 17, 2009 at 10:44 pm |
  34. Rikki, Fargo, ND

    Didn't know that she was pregnant?..How do you miss that? I'm just baffled by that!

    April 17, 2009 at 10:44 pm |
  35. Jackie

    I am a 47 yr old woman who was bullied as a child. You never forget it. I then watched my daughter be bullied when she was in jr high and high school. This has got to stop. There needs to be assemblies and renactments of what it feels like to be picked on for these kids. Let them walk in someone elses shoes. Maybe they wlll get the message

    April 17, 2009 at 10:44 pm |
  36. Zoee - Canada

    @Rikki: Kids can be cruel.
    I completely agree with you but I also have to add that people in general can be cruel, at any age. I think that most people though grow up from that by realizing later on that what they did was just so detrimental.

    April 17, 2009 at 10:44 pm |
  37. Jon

    This isn't a matter of being gay or anything like that. it is a matter off the parents teaching their kids that it is just plain wrong to make fun of someone just because they are different. I was born with spina bifida and my life through out school was pure hell. Everyday I was teased and tormented because of something that wasn't my fault. This child couldn't take it any more and that is a tragidy I it is pas time for the parents of the kids teach them that his sort of thing is wrong.

    April 17, 2009 at 10:44 pm |
  38. Genevieve M, TX

    I have never been bullied nor been a bully, but I have seen bullies at school. It started way back in preschool! Not all victims of bullies will have someone that is brave (or foolish?) and willing to stand up for them. I took a lot of risk confronting them, but I saw no other way to stop them because the school refused to do anything about it. And parents of bullies are often bullies themselves. I know this because child bullies often grow up to be adult bullies.

    April 17, 2009 at 10:43 pm |
  39. Maren in Oregon

    Carl's mother is a spectacular examploe of a really strong, intelligent capable mother. The horrow is, that even with a mom like this to back him up, the school still didn't get it. Some people might be intimidated to know that this woman, this strong woman's pleas to the school still apparently fell on deaf ears. Your school is folowing poicies & procedures – and not following their instincts, their hearts and common sense. Help them change their ways.

    April 17, 2009 at 10:43 pm |
  40. Kristen - University Park, PA

    Ms. Walker is absolutely right. Parents need to take responsibility to install in their children respect for all people regardless of their differences.

    April 17, 2009 at 10:43 pm |
  41. Jo Ann, North Royalton, Ohio

    How could a woman not know she is pregnant? I am worried about that poor kid having a mother who is so ignorant.

    April 17, 2009 at 10:43 pm |
  42. Mike Syracuse, NY

    When I was in middle school we had a class bully who picked on everyone. One day he was picking on me and although he was a foot taller and 50 lbs heavier I challenged him in front of the class to meet me to fight after school at the bus stop. Half the class showed up to watch, but the bully was a no show. No one got bullied after that. Fight back!

    April 17, 2009 at 10:43 pm |
  43. Jonny, KY

    I think the problem can be solved with the combination of Mel's ideas and Carl's mother's views.
    Yes, the parents need to educate their children not to bully. But parents can be bullies, too. They're not all as sweet as Carl's mother. Many parents revel in hatefulness they legitimate through the church, and go on to teach that to their children.

    April 17, 2009 at 10:43 pm |
  44. Ben

    I am extremely disturbed by this incodant. I am wondering, how did he die?

    April 17, 2009 at 10:42 pm |
  45. Fred

    Maren, you hit the nail on the head... great response. I'm a teacher and it takes 'everyone'.....to stop this maliciousness.... and most importantly phone calls home....often.....

    April 17, 2009 at 10:42 pm |
  46. starr formerly known as vincent

    I do not have words to express my grief over the death of this young man.....SENSELESS!!

    The mom and guest are right, the church and the home are the place to start educating children NOT to bully at all. Ask the children how they would feel if it was them.

    And, parents, churches and school districts need to PAY attention to thecomplaints of students who report that they are being bullied.

    April 17, 2009 at 10:42 pm |
  47. Danielle

    It makes me sick to see what this young boy went through. I see this happen to children every day in school. Parents need to start teaching there children to respect others.

    April 17, 2009 at 10:42 pm |
  48. Vickie

    Hope that school is reviewing it's "policies and procedures" 😦

    April 17, 2009 at 10:42 pm |
  49. Monica M. Williams

    I would like to extend my condolences to Mrs. Walker and her entire family.

    Twitter Contest: I love Ashton’s audacity to even challenge CNN. I’m fairly new to Twitter. One of my friends turned me on to Ashton’s twitter site. I admire his open book style. Sharing what he ate, where he’s going, feeling. I follow CNN and it’s sterile in comparison. Yes, sterility is expected from a new agency. But it can’t compete with the beauty of imperfections a real person can offer.

    For the record – I follow the most well respect new journalist on CNN… Anderson Cooper. And yes, he’s handsome too. : ) Have a great weekend.

    April 17, 2009 at 10:42 pm |
  50. Rebekah

    @Erica – i completely agree, i can't believe Mrs Walker is talking about this.

    I was upset because our school didn't even talk about the Day of Silence, the students set it up.

    April 17, 2009 at 10:42 pm |
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