On April 6, 2009, eleven-year-old Carl Walker-Hoover completed suicide as a direct result of peer abuse (stop calling it bullying). Since then, Carl’s Mom has been on a mission, joining with GLSEN to bring about change in laws regarding peer abuse. Just three months after her son’s death, Ms. Walker went to Congress and challenged our elected officials to protect children.
So far, they haven’t listened.
More than most people could possibly imagine, the last two and a half years have been difficult for the Walker family, so I was glad that Extreme Makeover: Home Edition featured Sirdeaner and Carl’s siblings on the show last Friday, sharing his story and perhaps giving them a tiny bit of karmic (or is it mokshic?) payback for the nightmare they’ve been through.
You’ll be surprised by the lasting effect of Carl’s death. The family has abandoned the third floor of the home where they found Carl, choosing instead to sleep on cots in the living room. Carl’s room is exactly as he left it, his backpack still tossed half-open on the steps the way 11-year-old boys do.
I was so glad to see GLSEN, The Trevor Project, the It Gets Better Project, and of course the Carl Walker-Hoover Foundation spotlighted. These important organizations are vital resources for kids like Carl.
(Sorry for the ads; they aren’t mine. Also sorry for the Kardashians.)