"Nothing was done"

The mother of the 11-year-old boy who recently hanged himself speaks about the homophobic bullying her son endured.

Published April 24, 2009 1:11PM (EDT)

On April 21, Broadsheet wrote about Jaheem Herrera, the 11 year old who hanged himself on April 16. It's impossible to know what pushed Herrera to do such a thing, but members of his family spoke about homophobic bullying at school, and his story came at a time when our concern about the damage of such "childhood taunts" is particularly peaked, and occasionally controversial (see the letters section on that April 21 thread, for instance). Today, Herrera's mother Masika Bermudez gives an interview to CNN in which she describes a shy boy and good student whose humiliation at school, despite her repeated complaints to the school district, did not relent. You can read the entire story here, but the following we'll pull out as our quote of the day:

"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 … He told me, but he just got to the point where he didn't want me to get involved anymore because nothing was done."


By Sarah Hepola

Sarah Hepola is the author of the New York Times bestselling memoir, "Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget."

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