When Cornelia Reynolds found her 8-year-old boy, Gabriel Taye, laying on the floor after coming from school on January, 26th, 2017, she began CPR and called 911.
However, her attempts and that of the paramedics to revive the boy were unsuccessful because he no longer had a pulse.
As they took away the boy, his mom screamed and cried, saying ‘Why Gabe? Why did you do it?’
The family filed a lawsuit against the Cincinnati Public Schools and Carson Elementary School officials, said their attorney, Jennifer Branch at a court hearing.
The family accuses the school of covering up the violence and bullying which their son faced on several occasions, which makes them responsible for his death.
8-Year-Old Boy Was Bullied, but School Covered Up?
Branch told the judges in the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals that the parents had no idea what was happening in the Carson Elementary and how dangerous their third-grade school was.
Their son Gabriel loved to dress up for school and wear neckties. He also loved singing and dancing, fishing with his mommy, and playing games with his daddy. He was a smart boy who had good grades, claim the parents.
Two days before his death, the boy was attacked by a student in the bathroom and he was lying unconscious on the floor for seven minutes while the other students were passing by, mocking and kicking the boy, claims their lawyer and says it’s all visible on the surveillance videos.
The lawsuit further explains that the school didn’t call 911 and actually waited for more than an hour before they called the boy’s family. Shockingly, they’ve just told his parents that their son had fainted and that his vitals were fine.
According to the school officials, they’ve responded properly to the incident and couldn’t have known that the boy would harm himself.
Boy Goes Back to School, Kills Himself the Next Day
After the incident in the bathroom, Gabriel told his family that he only remembered falling and that his belly hurt. His mom immediately took him to a hospital after he vomited and he stayed home the next day.
The following day, January 26th, 2017, the mother sent the boy back to school. She claims she would’ve never brought this decision if she knew about the whole incident.
On that day, when the boy went to the bathroom, two students took his water bottle and tried to flush it down the toiled. The boy reported this to a teacher who didn’t know about the previous incident and ‘didn’t recognize the seriousness of this incident’ claims the lawsuit.
When the boy got back home from school on that day, he killed himself.
According to the lawsuit, the school officials knew that Carson was a violent school and that the boy was bullied and a victim of at least 6 incidents in third grade; however, they’ve only notified the mother for three.
Did the School Cover Up the Bullying of the Boy?
According to the family’s attorney, the school knew that bullying can lead to suicide and cited the school’s bullying policy which emphasizes that suicide is a known risk of bullying.
The lawsuit further claims that the school officials covered up the aggressive attitude and bullying that students, including Gabriel, experienced at the school.
The school hid information from the parents about the bullying he received and the bathroom attack which was caught on camera.
If his parents knew the danger that their boy was facing, they would stop sending him to school there, said the lawsuit.
What Does the School Have to Say?
According to the school’s attorney, Gabriel didn’t suffer from an ongoing pattern of bullying as none of the 6 alleged incidents he participated in had any common patterns or repeatedly happening with the same students.
They claim that their officials were responsive and attentive both to Gabriel and to the students who allegedly bullied him.
The Court will now have to decide if they will affirm a trial court’s refusal to dismiss the wrongful lawsuit which the boy’s parents have filed against the school in 2017.
The police and prosecutors in Cincinnati didn’t file criminal charges in relation to the boy’s death.
The lawsuit also claims that until Reynolds gave birth to Gabe, she had no idea how much love she had to give and that her life is now empty without her only child, her best friend.