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Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover (April 17, 1997 – April 6, 2009) was a student at the New Leadership Charter School [1] in Springfield, Massachusetts who committed suicide at the age of 11 on the 6th of April 2009.[2]. He was found by his mother, Sirdeaner L. Walker, on the top floor of their Northampton Avenue home hanging on an extension cord.[3] According to her, his suicide was the result of continuous bullying at school by students who called him "gay" and said he'd "act like a girl" [4].

His 12th birthday would have fallen on the 13th annual Day of Silence, an American-wide activism day to bring attention to anti-LGBT bullying and harassment at school. Carl Walker-Hoover's death was thus the focus for many Day of Silence participants in 2009. [5]

"ESSENCE.COM: What are you hoping will come from Carl's passing? WALKER: Eventually I want to study the policies on bullying for charter schools in Springfield. I'm concerned because the school operates through a board of directors. The Department of Education should have control over charter schools. Right now it seems like everybody is following their own guidelines.... ESSENCE.COM: There were hundreds of people who came out to Carl's funeral. What did that mean to you? WALKER: I just felt so good. It was a celebration of his life. I knew that if God brought me through breast cancer, he will bring me through this and that's what I hold on to. I know that God has something good planned through all this. I know Carl loved the Lord. I know that he loved his life." [6]




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