Two Arrested after Dekalb Schools Insist Herrera Not Bullied


The DeKalb County school district released an internal review today of alleged bullying of 11-year-old Jaheem Herrera, who hanged himself last month. The report found Herrera was not specifically targeted for bullying.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports this afternoon:

Retired Fulton Superior Court Judge Thelma Wyatt Cummings Moore, who headed the review, said at a press conference the findings show Jaheem Herrera, 11, actively participated in several fights at Dunaire Elementary School during the school year.

His mother, Masika Bermudez, broke down crying 13 minutes into the press conference. Bermudez has insisted her son killed himself after being constantly bullied at Dunaire and that she had complained to school officials several times.

“My conclusion is there is no evidence of bullying at Dunaire,” said Moore, whom the school district brought in to oversee an internal review. “There is name-calling and teasing, but it is almost always done outside of any adult [being present]. There is a code of silence among the students.”

The results sparked outrage and resulted in two arrests: former Atlanta City Councilman Derrick Boazman and Abdullah Jihad. DeKalb County school police made the arrests and charges have not been immediately disclosed.

More from the AJC:

A friend of Jaheem’s family, Monique McMiller, said four of her children attend Dunaire, including her son, whom she said was bullied in March 2008. McMiller said the principal was unresponsive and that the same kids then are causing problems now. McMiller said she was interviewed by Moore for the judge’s report, as was her son, who McMiller said broke down in tears during the session.

The judge’s conclusion “makes her [Moore] a liar,” McMiller said. “To come to a conclusion there’s no bullying, to drag that family underneath like that, is embarrassing.”

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