Friday, June 5, 2009

That's So "Happy?"

DeKalb County Officials are trying to play down the use of the epithet "Gay" that, in part, led to the suicide of an 11 year old boy:

When Jaheem Herrera carried a pink backpack to Dunaire Elementary School in DeKalb County one day, classmates taunted him and called him “gay.”

And what the students actually meant when they said “gay” was “happy,” at least according to a retired Superior Court judge hired by the DeKalb School System to investigate allegations by Herrera’s mother that her son was so relentlessly bullied at the school that he hanged himself April 16.

“The children use ‘gay’ for anything and everything. The clothing is gay, the gesture is gay, what they say is gay, and that is a term they use,” Judge Thelma Wyatt Cummings Moore said at a press conference last week. “Now with these students we asked them, ‘Well, what does gay mean?’ They said ‘gay means happy,’ and this is many of the students.”

This is, at the very best, ignorant and at worst, hateful and vile. This 11 year old child was bullied and called gay, became depressed, and hanged himself. And The best the school can do is try to shift the blame off of them by saying "oh, well kids do that." This is unacceptable.

You know what else children do, they bite, they hit each other, they throw rocks. And, as responsible adults, we tell these children that is inappropriate behavior and make them stop doing it. If they do not, we punish the children.

Whoever this Judge Thelma Wyatt Cummings Moore is, she needs to step down. She apparently does not know how children behave and cannot effectively manage a school. I can tell you one thing for sure... an 11 year old does not commit suicide over being called "happy."