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Teachers: No sign dead student was bullied

STONE MOUNTAIN, Ga., May 8 (UPI) -- Four former teachers of an 11-year-old boy who committed suicide last month said they saw no signs of him being bullied, court documents indicate.

Teachers wrote in memos that Jaheem Herrera appeared to be well liked by fellow students, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Friday. Herrera hanged himself in his room April 16 because, his mother said, he was no longer able to withstand relentless verbal and physical abuse at school.

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"I at no point ever heard any child call Jaheem gay or make any other negative comment towards him," wrote teacher Tanya Hall Lynch. "Also, at no point, have I ever observed any child physically do any harm to Jaheem."

Rather, she noted: "Jaheem was well-liked and had many friends. He was popular with both the boys and the girls."

Teachers Bennie Pennington, Bridgette Dixon Thurman and Patricia Parker also wrote they saw no evidence of bullying.

"These letters are a slap in the face," said Gerald Griggs, the attorney for Jaheem's mother, Masika Bermudez.

Prosecutors and school officials are investigating the fifth-grader's death. He attended Dunaire Elementary School in Stone Mountain, Ga.

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