April 14th, 2009
09:45 PM ET

Live Blog from the Anchor Desk 04/14/09

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Tonight, Randi Kaye has the shocking story of a Massachusetts 11-year-old boy who committed suicide because his parents say he was bullied at school. Carl Joseph Walker Hoover was a sixth grader, who was a good student. Hoover's mom says other students told her son "you act gay" and "you look gay." She says even one student threatened to kill him. Is bullying out of control in America's schools? Sound off below. And, go ahead and text your question on this story to Anderson. Just text "AC" in the message and add your name, location and question. Then send it to 94553.

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

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Filed under: Live Blog
soundoff (393 Responses)
  1. Johnny, KY

    What a waste of tea. Recession, anybody?

    April 14, 2009 at 10:48 pm |
  2. David, Indiana

    This is a good discussion about bully Anderson, but I learned in fifth grade not to call people names or make fun of them. I don't see how those high school or middle school kids don't know that they're being jerks. You don't say that to them, but you have to get that point across, it can be done gently.

    Isabel, oh the fishermen are just losing their jobs? Somalia is a country wracked by proverty and starvation.

    April 14, 2009 at 10:48 pm |
  3. Lauren--NY

    @ Isabel, yes, there are such services. A very relevant one to this situation is the Trevor Project, the only 24/7 toll-free suicide hotline for LGBTQ youth. Everyone should research this incredible organization as it gets far too little attention.

    April 14, 2009 at 10:48 pm |
  4. Maria

    wow, that is so sad such a young boy was so confused or afraid (we'll never know what he was truely feeling) that we could not help him. I made a comment last night about the gay marriage, not sure if it got on the blog, but this ties in.....homosexual people are people too and deserve all the rights other human beings receive. This is 2009, we should have moved past this issue.

    April 14, 2009 at 10:48 pm |
  5. Maureen T, Canada

    That little boy is my daughter's age! And he would've been 12 later this week! 🙁

    April 14, 2009 at 10:48 pm |
  6. Johnny, KY

    My heart breaks for that boy, and all kids who are made to feel so low by their peers. It's unconscionable that kids are getting away with slurs regarding sexual orientation– because this is all too often the result.

    There have been too many awful losses for this to still be happening. Matthew Shepherd, Aaron Hall, Lawrence King, young Carl... and so many more. It's horrendous.

    April 14, 2009 at 10:48 pm |
  7. Stacey

    Jo Ann, I agree the parents are just as responsible!! That's why I say there is more to this story then what the parents are going to come out and say. If you have love and support at home, and you are taught to hold you head high and be proud of who you are regardless, that boy would have cared less about what others thought.... or said

    April 14, 2009 at 10:48 pm |
  8. Micci -Indiana

    I am not shocked at all by the bullying of that child. My son was bullied from the time he set foot in school in Kindergarten. By second grade, I was taking him for therapy due to depression. The school did nothing but look the other way. My solution was to pull him out and homeschool him and it has been a blessing! He is now finishing 7th grade and is a happy, well-adjusted child. It is too bad that homeschooling was not an option for that poor little boy who committed suicide. What a sad, sad story.

    April 14, 2009 at 10:47 pm |
  9. EM

    @Dorothy-CA totally agree, why are they hiding behind labels instead of solving the issue

    April 14, 2009 at 10:47 pm |
  10. Justin

    great show tonight, teabagging comment, amazing....

    April 14, 2009 at 10:47 pm |
  11. Alicia

    It is 2009.....why is this still happening.....he was just in junior high.....who are teaching these kids hatred......why is there so much hatred.....I really don't understand.

    April 14, 2009 at 10:47 pm |
  12. Anita Ellin

    When will we wake up to what is happening to our children. My heart is breaking for this beautiful young boy who was bullied at school.

    April 14, 2009 at 10:47 pm |
  13. BettyAnn,Nacogdoches,TX

    Bullying occurs when the child is bullied at home.

    April 14, 2009 at 10:46 pm |
  14. Anita Ellin

    When will we wake up to what is happening to our children. My heart is breaking for this beautiful young boy who was bullied at school.

    April 14, 2009 at 10:46 pm |
  15. Lorin

    RE: The Bullying Story

    Besides the gay-hate issue, this is a symptom of a bigger problem in our culture– that too many "men" teach their boys that anything "female" is bad.

    Why should sensitive or thoughtful or artistic behaviour be considered a negative thing?

    There should be severe penalties for children of any age who bully other children. If not, we're only reinforcing anti-social behaviour that will eventually manifest into criminal behaviour.

    April 14, 2009 at 10:46 pm |
  16. Cristy Kirssin

    I thnk there was no time to move him to another school or for the parents to really help him, time was of the essence, and he took his own action before anyone else could help him, this is an unbelieveable action for someone so young. I can't believe their minds are sophisticated enough to think thoughts like that, it is so contrived, so shocking, and manipulative. Seems very strange...and unhealthy. Obviously, this is not a "normal" response to persecution.

    April 14, 2009 at 10:46 pm |
  17. Dorothy-CA

    Cristy – the very sad thing is that it is not unusual and strange for children to have those thoughts – other children can be so cruel and make someone who is alittle different than them just miserable and it is just so sad. Sad also because it does happen to so many young loving children.

    April 14, 2009 at 10:46 pm |
  18. starr formerly known as vincent

    Very, very sad about the young man who committed suicide as a result of bullies!

    I was bullied in school...it can really affect a person. It re-enforces low self esteem, makes you feel very lonely (in fact all alone).

    In my day, no one paid attention if you tried to tell them about what you were going through – it was considered a "right of passage".

    I urge all parents, teachers and school systems to pay ATTENTION to these children who are being verbally, and/or physically tortured daily.

    April 14, 2009 at 10:46 pm |
  19. Andy Peters

    As a school superintendent of a public school in Texas, I understand this situation very well. I dealt with a 7th grader girl today who was "picked on" by her peers because of a very nice haircut she got over the weekend.
    Schools do not put up with bullying. Texas has laws against it. However, you have to understand that it is usually a kid verses kid arguement. Kids don't bully in front of teachers and administrators. Parents of the bullying students tend to bully teachers, administrators and parents of the children.
    The problem with school people fixing these problems is that schools are not respected any more – especially by the media, which then impacts the poor parents. Good parents respect the school and want to find out what is going – they listen and they assist school people in finding solutions. Poor parents just blame the teachers.

    April 14, 2009 at 10:46 pm |
  20. Rafael Bronx,NY

    I just can't get enough of Bo. I really don't want a dog but the Obama are surely making me re-considered

    April 14, 2009 at 10:46 pm |
  21. Rikki, Fargo, ND

    Schools in ND have a no tolerance policy when it comes to bullying...I don't know how much they actually enforce it...but I think all schools need to have a 0 tolerance policy and need to actually enforce it...this cannot allowed to continue

    April 14, 2009 at 10:46 pm |
  22. carolyn cee yah

    children are cruel and a lot of these kids get this type of behavior
    from their parents.
    schools turns their backs to children that come to them with problems
    theyre bullied for being fat, gay, dress poorly it is sad, parents of bullys
    need to take a look in the mirrior and be mindful what they say around children.

    April 14, 2009 at 10:45 pm |
  23. Bonnie

    I know a lady that home schools her daughter because of mean girl bullying.

    April 14, 2009 at 10:45 pm |
  24. Carmella

    What a terrible tragedy. He could not take it anymore and he must have felt in his heart that suicide was the only way out. Everyone who persecuted him will have to answer to God for their actions. Where is the love we should have for our brother? These immature kids who don't have parents who teach them to treat others the way they would want to be treated. It makes me sick to my stomach to look at his face and to know the torment he must have endured.

    April 14, 2009 at 10:45 pm |
  25. Samantha M.

    bullies need to understand the consequences of their actions. they need to understand their boundaries and know the impact of words. schools could take a bigger role in implementing that, as well as parents.

    April 14, 2009 at 10:45 pm |
  26. Nattada, Houston TX

    Not to worry!! The teachers and administrative should take responsibility for his death.

    Bulling kid should be set straight. I bet some of them would feel guilty the rest of their life.

    If noone will do anything, parents of bullied student should teach their kids some self defense, both physically and mentally.

    April 14, 2009 at 10:44 pm |
  27. Maren in Oregon

    Oregon is a leader in anti-bullying laws, but your guest is right – cognitive ability at younger ages is key, and the approach has o start at the beginning – kindergarten and first grade

    April 14, 2009 at 10:44 pm |
  28. Caroline, Los Angeles

    Not to lessen this case and this problem, but I have worked at schools where the older children make fun of each other for their skin color. Yes, they still do that, even now.

    April 14, 2009 at 10:44 pm |
  29. LisaL - Canada

    bullying occurs for such a multitude of reasons. the way people treat each other sometimes is just horrid.

    April 14, 2009 at 10:44 pm |
  30. Fay - California

    With all the examples out there with children like Carl who have been bullied to the point that they feel so despondent that they take their lives, there is simply no excuse for school officials to continue to give bullies and their parents a pass.

    April 14, 2009 at 10:44 pm |
  31. Jen

    My younger brother had to deal with teasing like this when he was little (he is gay) and almost ended in a similar way when he was in his early twenties. Anyone claiming homosexuality is a choice should be ashamed of themselves for making these children feel like who they are is unacceptable. Thank you and thank the mother for speaking on this issue.

    April 14, 2009 at 10:44 pm |
  32. Dorothy-CA

    I am so enraged by the 11 yr old boy being bullied and killing himself. If that school had bullying rules, they best stop and take a look again, because evidently they are not doing any good!!

    April 14, 2009 at 10:44 pm |
  33. Tanasith or TJ

    Bullying is cruel. Homosexuality is not a crime, therefore we should not treat those as it they committed a crime. I attend School One, a place where homosexuality is acceptable and its students are accepting and accepted. It is apparent that this school and its students are not open to homosexuals. Is there any punishment tor school who have failed with bullying and being open to sexual diversity?

    April 14, 2009 at 10:43 pm |
  34. Isabel Siaba

    As the people (children) can judge the sexuality of an another child! This is absurd!

    April 14, 2009 at 10:43 pm |
  35. sorrow

    too much for me. had to turn off the sound. time and again these children are let down by their communities and schools. doesn't anybody want to stand up and say enough is enough?

    April 14, 2009 at 10:43 pm |
  36. Gloria, Brooklyn, NY

    These are sad tragic stories about the children. May God be with thier families.

    April 14, 2009 at 10:43 pm |
  37. jacqueline, ny

    This story is truly too sad. At 10 or 11 years old, I couldn't even imagine being dead. There is something more to this story than the bulling.

    April 14, 2009 at 10:43 pm |
  38. Cheryl

    my 13 yr old gets called a lesbian all day because she doesn't have a boyfriend. it's sad.

    April 14, 2009 at 10:43 pm |
  39. Dwayne

    I dont understand this whole Big Brother alert by homeland security secratary warning of right wing radicals. Why are we treating people with differing opinions like they are terrorists? Please dont tell me that we can talk to a rouge state like North Korea or Iran but those who disagree with any administrtation are called or radical potential malitia members. Didnt like it the last 8 years sure dont like it now just seems like there are people who have something to hide.

    April 14, 2009 at 10:42 pm |
  40. Caroline, Los Angeles

    Oh but this poor kid may not have even known what he was yet. And if he did then yes, the schools really need to face it and deal with it and enforce taking verbal slurs seriously!

    April 14, 2009 at 10:42 pm |
  41. Maureen T, Canada

    There is no tolerance in society!!

    April 14, 2009 at 10:42 pm |
  42. Vickie

    Why should he move to another school?
    Why didn't the school notify the parents of these little bullies and have them do something?

    April 14, 2009 at 10:42 pm |
  43. Megan Dresslar - Shoreline, WA

    Thank you Thomas Krever to be here on the air!

    April 14, 2009 at 10:42 pm |
  44. Stephen Wilkerson (Drew) MD

    Ignorance and Want,

    They need to be acknowledged or they will take from us all that we hold dear.

    We can't wait any longer to address the root causes with real solutions
    Solutions like schools, teachers, hospitals, hope trust and respect...


    April 14, 2009 at 10:41 pm |
  45. Lori from IL

    Bullying is just so wrong - no matter the reason. Kids can be so cruel - hope this is a wake-up call for the parentsof the other kids and the school.

    April 14, 2009 at 10:41 pm |
  46. Maren in Oregon

    If you haven't been in middle school since you were incarcerated there as a youth – go, volunteer as a hall monitor and run screaming from the property in horror at what you see and hear.

    April 14, 2009 at 10:41 pm |
  47. Isabel Siaba

    The big problem is that among the victims of bullying prevail the "law of silence" due to lack of support and understanding when they complain to the adults, fear of retaliation from abusers; shame of being exposed to colleagues as incompetent and weak, fear the reactions of family members, etc

    April 14, 2009 at 10:41 pm |
  48. Genevieve M, TX

    Parents need to beware if they know their child is a bully. One day their child may become the victim of someone who is fed up with the antics- someone like me!

    April 14, 2009 at 10:41 pm |
  49. Michelle D . Fonthill. Ont

    Being accepted for who you are is more important than any thing . i think poeple need to teach tolerance and sharing with others .No person should be made fun of beacuse of any reason it's so sad .

    April 14, 2009 at 10:41 pm |
  50. Atlanta

    Wow, Randi's story on bullying is so horrible and sad. Schools really need to step up their anti-bullying policies. Man this story has me in tears :(.

    April 14, 2009 at 10:40 pm |
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