April 26, 2009

Stop the Bullies: It is Your JOB!

April 21, 2009

Another Child Suicide Blamed on Antigay Bullying

Family members of an 11-year-old boy who committed suicide in DeKalb County, Ga., on Thursday afternoon say that relentless bullying is to blame for their son's death, according to the Atlanta-Journal Constitution .

Jaheem Herrera, a fifth-grader at Dunaire Elementary School in the Atlanta area, hanged himself in his room after enduring extreme daily bullying that included antigay taunts. His 10-year-old sister discovered his body.

Herrera’s mother and stepfather say they were aware of the consistent bullying, although their son tried to hide the extent of it. His mother, Masika Bermudez, complained to the school, reports WSB-TV, and she talked with his best friend about the situation.

“He said, ‘Yes, ma’am. He told me that he’s tired of everybody always messing with him in school. He is tired of telling the teachers and the staff, and they never do anything about the problems. So the only way out is by killing himself,’” Bermudez told WSB-TV.

Jaheem was an excellent student who moved with his family to the Atlanta area last year from St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands, said stepfather Norman Keene.

The suicide of Jaheem follows the death earlier this month of 11-year-old Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover, a sixth-grader in Springfield, Mass., who hanged himself after reportedly enduring relentless antigay bullying.

In March, the parents of Eric Mohat -- a Mentor, Ohio, 17-year-old who shot and killed himself in 2007 following what his parents characterize as months of merciless antigay harassment -- filed a lawsuit against Mentor High School with the U.S. district court in the northern Ohio district; they're not seeking compensation for themselves, but rather an admission that Eric's death was a "bullycide," and they're asking that the school put in place an anti-bullying program to prevent future such tragedies.

Visit the sites below for more stories and books and donate to the suicide hotline. Most importantly, as a teacher/administrator, it is your job to stop bullies in your school. If you think there is something wrong with a student, assume there is and investigate. You never know the difference you can make just by simply asking a child if something is wrong, or how they are doing. Don't turn your head when you see bullying, Stop It!





April 15, 2009

Help Pass the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act

The Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act was passed on July 25, 2006—20 years after Adam Walsh's abduction. The act established a National Sex Offender Registry law, but recent news reports reveal most states will not be in compliance with the law by the upcoming July 2009 deadline. If senators and state representatives don't comply with and fully fund the act, it will expire.

For more information about this Act or to contact your Senator and/or Representative go to:

To get a sample letter to send your Senator and/or Representative go to:

April 3, 2009

Congratulations Nancy Porter!

The Midwest Peace and Justice Causcus is smiling from ear to ear today. One of our best representatives, and beautiful souls, was awarded with the Charles F. Martin Award from the Iowa State Education Association.

Nancy Porter has been an active Association member at the local, state, and national levels for decades. She has worked as a Reading Recovery teacher in the Iowa City School district for 16 years and has been involved in education for 40 years.

Locally, she's served as President and Vice President of the Iowa City Education Association and received many honors including Eduactor of the Year.

At the state level, she served on the ISEA Executive Board for 13 years, and was a delegate to NEA Representative Assemblies, a delegate to the ISEA Delegate Assembly for over two decades, a member of the ISEA PAC Central Committee, and a presenter and attendee at the ISEA Summber Conference in Storm Lake.

Nationally, she serves as Secretary of the NEA Peace and Justice Caucus.

Nancy has mentored many ISEA members, encouraging them to attend weekly legislative forums, and hosting barbecues at her house to socialize and organize. She has become engaged in the political processes necessary to guarantee students' and teachers' needs are met and to provide the very best education possible for students everywhere.

The prestigious Charles F. Martin Award has been presented annually since 1972 as ISEA's top honor to a member who has made a significant contribution to the teaching profession through Association involvement. It's named in honor of the late Charles F. Martin who served as ISEA president in 1945 and then as executive director from 1946 to 1961.

We are so proud of our very own Nancy Porter. Congratulations to you Nancy, and thank you for all the wonderful work you do on behalf of our Caucus and our students here in Iowa. We couldn't be more proud of you.

Iowa court upholds ruling; marriage no longer limited to one man, one woman

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More information coming soon!

Teacher Resources

Visit DMEA's wiki that was put together by Peace and Justice bloggers Stefanie Rosenberg-Cortes and Joshua Brown. It has a section that has valuable resources to teach Peace and Justice issues in your classroom.

DMEA Peace and Justice Wiki Page