SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Anti-bullying advocate Sirdeaner Walker has passed away.
Walker, a Springfield resident, became a prominent activist following the 2009 suicide of her 11 year-old son Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover. Carl took his own life after being bullied by his classmates.
The year after Carl’s death, Sirdeaner Walker helped set up the Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover Foundation, which promotes anti-bullying efforts and provides scholarships for college-bound students. Walker also became politically active on the local, state, and federal level; even testifying on Capitol Hill to advocate to require anti-bullying policies at schools nationwide. She also visited the White House for an anti-bullying conference.
In a statement sent to 22News, Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno praised Walker’s activism.
“A strong woman of faith, she took the devastating loss of her beloved son Carl, and led the charge in rallying all of us in proactively creating laws, programs, and scholarships to combat bullying,” Sarno said.
“May God rest her soul- she is now with Carl and his million dollar smile. Sirdeaner and Carl’s legacy will live on.”
Funeral arrangements have yet to be finalized, but are being handled by Harrell’s Funeral Home in Springfield.