Another boy kills himself, and his mother talks about ‘my bullied son’s last day on earth’

CNN.com profiles a family, from Dunaire, Georgia, who has suffered from school bullies. Eleven-year-old Jaheem Herrera hung himself, after he was perpetually called “gay” at school.

Jaheem’s mom told CNN: “He used to say Mom they keep telling me this … this gay word, this gay, gay, gay. I’m tired of hearing it, they’re telling me the same thing over and over.”

But while she says her son complained about the bullying, she had no idea how bad it had gotten.

“He told me, but he just got to the point where he didn’t want me to get involved anymore because nothing was done,” she said.

[His mom] Masika Bermudez said she complained to the school about bullying seven or eight times, but it wasn’t enough to save him.

“It [apparently] just got worse and worse and worse until Thursday,” she said. “Just to walk up to that room and see your baby hanging there. My daughter saw this, my baby saw this, my kids are traumatized.”

She said Jaheem was a shy boy just trying to get a good education and make friends.

Less than a month before Jaheem’s death, a boy in Massachusetts killed himself after being bullied, harassed and called “gay.”

Suicide hotline numbers

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-SUICIDE (784-2433)

Image: Flowers and stuffed animals sit at the door step of Jaheem Herrera’s home / CNN.com

4 thoughts on “Another boy kills himself, and his mother talks about ‘my bullied son’s last day on earth’

  • April 29, 2009 at 8:58 pm
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    thats crazy and very very sad and makes me wanna cry RIP jaheem and the mother im kinda upset about what she didnt do and could have saved her sons l ife…that

  • April 30, 2009 at 3:54 am
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    This is very tragic to hear. It is sad that this family has to grieve the death of their love one. Part of the problem within our school systems are that children are not taught about other cultures. When they hear a new dialect, they think it’s odd or funny. Did anyone know that Zora Neale Hurston wrote stories using her dialect and that Alice Walker and other intellectual writers has mimic her work. The American people has forgotten that our country today is a combination of diverse nationalities and cultures. Sad to say; but adults today are still fighting and disrespecting each other, and some refuses to find time to educate their children about respecting each other. When the parents complained to the administrators of the school, why did they not address the problem at the time. It is ironic how we address an occurring problems after something tragic happens. My deepest sympathy to this family. I myself can relate to this child pain. I have the same dialect as him

  • April 30, 2009 at 8:19 pm
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    I think if the mother complianed to the school and it was AT school wat more could she have done. it’s sad that school don’t do more other then put up signs sayin no bully zone…

  • May 8, 2009 at 7:42 am
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    As they say, hindsight is 20/20. We’ve got to acknowledge that most parents are probably in the dark about how their kids really feel. Some kids, especially the really smart ones, are masters at masking the true extent of their emotional pain. My heart goes out to Masika Bermudez and her lost son.

    Whatever happened to ‘but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself’ (originally from Hebrew bible, Leviticus 19: 17-18) ; ‘do unto others as you would have them do unto you’ (Matthew 7:12); “That which you want for yourself, seek for mankind” (the Koran)? In fact, all the major religions espouse the same common-sensical view. Atheists share it as well, as evidenced by the examples set by many atheist philanthropists.

    Is ‘mutual respect for our fellow man’ being lost in the secular system of education today? Or have we, as adults grown arrogant in our belief that our views are superior to those of our neighbours, thus belittling the other viewpoint in subtle ways that influece our children to inherit the same intolerance?

    The bullying of children by children is a learned intolerance. Something they have learned from our adult community – parents, relatives etc.

    If we adults created the problem, what are we going to do about it?

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