The family of an 8-year-old Ohio boy who committed suicide in January after a bullying attack accused the child’s school on Monday of “withholding” critical details about the assault and covering up the “treacherous” environment that led to his death.
In a 41-page lawsuit filed in federal district court in Cincinnati, lawyers for the family of Gabriel Taye said that the school only notified the boy’s mother after he had recovered completely from an assault inside a bathroom at Carson Elementary School on January 24, 2017.
That “concealment,” the suit says, “prevented his mother from seeking appropriate treatment. Had she known of the extreme violence at Carson, she never would have continued to send him to school there.”
During the incident, a classmate knocked the third grader unconscious, the suit says. In the seven minutes that Gabriel remained on the floor, other students kicked, poked and stepped over him, according to surveillance video released in May.
Two days later, Gabriel used a necktie to hang himself from his bunk bed, the suit says.
The suit also describes a culture of “aggression, violence, bullying, intimidation and harassment” among students at Carson Elementary School — even though its district reported only a handful of bullying incidents there during the 2016-2017 school year.
In a report on bullying released by the Cincinnati Public Schools district, which includes Carson, the assault on Gabriel and its aftermath were not mentioned, the suit says.
The lawsuit points to Carson’s own behavior logs — which include examples of students choking, threatening, taunting, punching and harassing other students — to show that bullying was routine at the school.
In one episode, the lawsuit says, a third grader threw a chair at a girl and said: “I wish I had a gun so I could rape her.” In another, a student stomped on a classmate as she tried to flee.
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SOURCE: NBC News, Andrew Ho