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May 20th, 2009
05:48 PM ET

Over protests, school review denies boy was bullied

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/US/01/16/school.bus.cuts/art.school.bus.cuts.afp.gi.jpg]

Kristina Torres
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

An internal DeKalb school district review of alleged bullying of an 11-year-old student who hanged himself has found no evidence the child was specifically targeted for bullying.

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.

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Filed under: 360º Follow • Crime & Punishment • Education
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