Cincinnati Public School officials released a disturbing surveillance video on Friday of an attack on an 8-year-old boy in a school bathroom by another student — an incident that took place two days before the boy took his life.
In the grainy 24-minute video, taken at the entrance of a bathroom at Carson Elementary School, third-grader Gabriel Taye appears to be approaching a larger boy, who just pushed another boy, and extending his hand seemingly for a shake when the larger boy grabs his arm and pushes him into a wall, causing Gabriel to collapse and faint.
While the video is hazy, Gabriel’s motionless body is seen lying on the floor for several minutes, during which numerous children go past him, step over him, and even kick and poke him with their feet.
Almost eight minutes later, an adult in a dark suit is seen walking over and attending to a still unmoving Gabriel.
Two days after the bathroom attack, the boy hung himself with a necktie in the bedroom of his Cincinnati home.
The school made no mention of the incident to the boy’s mother, Cornelia Reynolds, only telling her that he fainted, said Jennifer Branch, an attorney representing Reynolds, adding that they learned about the surveillance video months after the attack in January.
“Mom got a call from the school. She was told her son had fainted, he’s in the nurse’s office. His vitals are fine, he’s fine and she decided to come to the school to get him to make sure he was okay and she took him home,” Branch said. “Later that night he was nauseous and had fainted and thrown up a couple of times and she took him to the hospital.”
But because the mother didn’t know what happened, the doctor at the hospital didn’t either, which changed the nature of the medical examination, she said. “If she had known he had lost consciousness for over 7 minutes, that is a critical detail for a medical professional to know,” she said.
Reynolds found out about the bullying incident after her attorneys received a copy of a police investigative file that contained an email from a homicide detective to school officials describing the surveillance video, she said.
“If Gabe’s mom had known that her son was going to school every day and experiencing, and witnessing, and being involved in these violent, very unsettling events, she wouldn’t have continued to send him there,” Branch said.
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SOURCE: NBC News, Safia Samee Ali