8-year-old Gabriel Taye took his own life after being bullied numerous times and school covered up what he experienced.
When his mother, Cornelia Reynolds, found him unconscious at home, she immediately started CPR and contacted emergency services.
Paramedics arrived and tried their best to revive Gabriel, but he already passed away.
“Why Gabe? Why baby? Why did you do it?” Reynolds screamed as paramedics took the boy away.
Jennifer Branch, the family’s attorney, said the mother’s question is at the crux of a lawsuit filed by the family against Cincinnati Public Schools and Carson Elementary School officials.
The parents accused school staff of covering up the bullying and violence their son faced on many different occasions.
“These parents had no idea what was going on at Carson Elementary School,” Branch said to a panel of judges, adding they had “no idea how dangerous third-grade school was.”
Two days before Gabriel committed suicide, he had been attacked by a student in a comfort room where he had lain unconscious for 7 minutes while other students just walked by –kicking and mocking him, according to the surveillance video.
The school didn’t contact 911 and waited for over an hour to call the boy’s mother, only to inform her that the boy had ‘fainted’ and his ‘vitals were fine.’
After the incident, Gabriel told his mom that all he could remember was that he slipped and hurt his stomach. She brought him to a hospital after he puked and allowed him to rest at home the next day.
The mother then sent him back to school, a “decision she would never had made if she had only known about the attack,” said the lawsuit.
When Gabriel went back to school that day, two students took his water bottle away and tried to flush it down the toilet.
He told a teacher about what happened but “did not recognize the seriousness of this incident,” said the lawsuit.
That evening, Gabriel took his own life.
Branch told the judges that school officials knew that Carson was a ‘violent school’ and the boy was a victim of bullying. They also knew that Gabriel was a victim of ‘aggressive behavior’ in more than 6 incidents during the third grade.
“They also know that bullying can lead to suicide,” said Branch.
However, school officials ‘covered up’ the aggressive behavior and bullying students experienced at Carson Elementary School. They also hid information from their parents about the extent of bullying their son received.
“Had Gabe’s parents known the dangers Gabe faced at Carson, they would not have continued to send him to school there,” the lawsuit added.
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