Springfield mother fights to stop bullying in her daughter’s school

Her son, Carl Walker-Hoover, committed suicide after being bullied in 2009

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A Springfield parent has renewed her plea for an end to bullying. Sirdeaner Walker’s son took his own life after being tormented by his classmates six years ago. Now she said her daughter is being targeted.

Sirdeaner Walker’s son, 11-year-old Carl Walker-Hoover, hanged himself in 2009 after being bullied. His mother said it was all because Carl couldn’t cope with being bullied by his classmates.

“He said well there’s this gang, the 6th grade gang, posse, and they threatened to kill me and beat me up,” Sirdeaner told 22News when we first interviewed her back in 2009.

Now, more than 6 years later, Sirdeaner said her daughter is being bullied at Springfield’s Kiley Middle school.

“Two girls jumped her for a fight in the band room…. everyday somebody is saying something to her,” Sirdeaner said. “I didn’t feel my daughter was safe at Kiley.”

Beth Gage, Chief Administrative Officer for the Springfield Empowerment Zone said the school takes these allegations seriously and are looking into them.  They want Walker’s daughters and all their students to have a safe learning environment.

The Springfield Empowerment Zone is a voluntary partnership between Springfield Public Schools, the state department of elementary and secondary education and the Springfield Education Association. It aims to rapidly improve outcomes for a majority of Springfield’s middle school students.

Sirdeaner said all she wants, is to make sure bullying stops.

“If you are vulnerable, if you are weak, if you are overweight, whatever it is, those are the children that are being picked on,” she said. “It slowly eats away at your self-esteem. Someone needs to make a stand… I don’t want to see anyone bury their child.”

After Carl committed suicide, then Governor Deval Patrick signed an-anti bullying law. It requires school staff to report bullying to the principal who must then investigate. We’ll continue to follow this investigation and bring you any new information we develop.

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