BY JULIANNE MALVEAUX
I hope you watched “Extreme Home Makeover” on Dec. 2, as I did. For me it was an opportunity of pride, as Bennett student Dominique Walker was featured, with her family, for a trip to Los Angeles, and a home upgrade. Why? Because her family remained in pain because their 11-year-old brother killed himself after vicious bullying.
Carl Walker-Hoover was hazed because folks thought he was gay. He was bothered, bullied and besieged. He tried to talk to folks, but he eventually found out that no one wanted to hear what he had to say. He hung himself at home, and the family avoided his bedroom because they were in pain.
Our pain. The child was bullied and badgered and he couldn’t take it. He was like more than one in six young people who say that bullying is part of their life. Many manage, and many manage by becoming bullies themselves. Many don’t manage. They are left out, dropped out, worn out, pulled out with parents so oblivious to the effect of bullying that they think it is just a childhood thing. A game young people play with each other. Not. The worst of it is that the Internet compounds what used to be simple schoolyard chatter. Now, young people put rumors and nonsense into cyberspace about each other. And cyberspace doesn’t simply whisper, it yells. Young people’s reputations are on the line because bullying has taken on an Internet space.
Carl Walker-Hoover, an 11-year-old, was “outed” as gay when at 11 he probably was only different. Young people decided to play with him in the worst way, picking at