School Statements on the Deaths of Carl Walker-Hoover and Jaheem Herrera
New Leadership Charter School
The entire New Leadership Charter School family is deeply saddened by the loss of Carl Walker-Hoover. It is unthinkable that an eleven-year old child would end his precious life. Our heartfelt sympathy and prayers go out to the family and friends of Carl. We deeply regret the loss of his life.
No child should ever be subject to bullying and teasing, but we are all aware that it does exist among young people. As adults we must always be attentive and intervene appropriately. The school has in place policies and procedures for all forms of student behavior. These policies are part of the Springfield School System Student Handbook. In addition, New Leadership has established non-negotiable requirements for admission that both students and parents sign as a contract with the school. Some of these requirements also deal with expected student behavior.
The staff at New Leadership Charter School has consistently addressed any issue related to these policies whenever it has come to their attention, and they have placed special emphasis on the need for respect among the entire school population as an integral part of the leadership training provided to students.
As Chairman of the Board of Trustees of New Leadership Charter School, I have initiated an investigation into the facts and the allegations to ensure that the school responded in an appropriate manner.
Peter J. Daboul
Chairman of the Board
New Leadership Charter School
DeKalb County School District’s Official Statement
Dunaire Elementary School
The DeKalb County School District experienced a tragic loss in the passing of Jaheem Herrerra. Jaheem was a bright, well-liked, and creative child who will be sorely missed by his family, the entire school district and our community. As a district, we are devastated by this loss, and our hearts go out to his family. Students and staff members have worked closely with Jaheem's family to support them during this very difficult time. Dunaire Elementary students prepared cards, letters, and a special tribute scrapbook to present to Jaheem's family.
We are a large, diverse School District and we embrace and appreciate that diversity. In the DeKalb County School District, our staff works diligently to provide a safe and nurturing environment for all students.
We utilize a variety of resources to ensure safety in our schools. The resources include, but are not limited to, prevention-intervention specialists, school counselors, school social workers, school psychologists, mediation, individual and small-group counseling, the Anti-Defamation League’s "No Place for Hate" ("NPFH") Anti-Bullying Program, gang awareness workshops, and monitoring/supervision of all students.
Jaheem’s family has made some serious accusations against the school Jaheem attended. Dr. Crawford Lewis, Superintendent of DeKalb Schools, and the entire Board of Education have pledged their commitment to perform a thorough review of this matter. After our investigation is complete, we trust that we will be able to provide answers to the many questions being raised.