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Parents of Young Boy Who Committed Suicide File Wrongful Death Lawsuit against School
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Summary: The family of an 8-year-old Ohio boy who hung himself after a bullying incident is blaming the school for protecting bullying in the school.

The parents of a child who hung himself filed a federal lawsuit against the 8-year-old’s school, blaming them for fostering a “treacherous school environment” and “withholding” information. The parents of the Gabriel Taye believe that school officials allowed and covered up bullying at Carson Elementary School.


The wrongful death lawsuit names officials at CPS and Cincinnati Public School District as defendants. They seek damages to be determined in a trial.

The parent’s attorney explained that their clients were unaware that the boy was being bullied until after his death when the lawyers saw a police detective’s email about an incident involving Gabriel outside a boys’ restroom. The attorneys state that Gabriel was knocked unconscious by another student. He killed himself two days later on January 26.

Gabriel’s mother Cornelia Reynolds said, “if I had only known” about the assault outside the bathroom to her attorney Jennifer Branch when Branch told her about the incident. Gabriel’s death has brought to light the fact that a number of students are being bullied at the school. Branch said, “If CPS had been honest with her about what happened in the bathroom, how long he had been unconscious, and the dangerous school environment Gabe had to navigate each day of third grade, she would never had let him return to Carson.”

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WKRC reports that other parents of children attending Carson hope that the lawsuit will bring positive changes at the school. The assistant principal has already left Carson. The principal has been reassigned and the superintendent retired.

Another parent, Casey Claypool, said, “If this was taken care of at first instead of just putting zeros or sweeping it under the rug, then this wouldn’t have gone so far and now we have to watch our babies like crazy.”

The investigation into Gabriel’s death has been closed with no charges against anyone. The coroner ruled the death as suicide even after authorities opened his grave to remove an electronic device that had been buried with the boy. Authorities had hoped the tablet would provide additional information into the bullying situation. His mother explained that she buried the tablet with Gabriel so he would have something to “play with in heaven.”

The school district claims that Gabriel told staff he fainted with no indication that he had been bullied or assaulted. A rough 24-minute video released by the school district shows one boy bullying other students. The attorney for Gabriel’s parents states that Gabriel was knocked unconscious for around seven minutes when he was pushed into a wall. He remained on the ground while other students poked, kicked, and stepped over him.

A behavior log at the school shows that choking, threatening, taunting, punching and the harassment of other students was normal at the school. The lawsuit explains another incident where a student threw a chair at a girl, saying “I wish I had a gun so I could rape her.” The district released a bully report that included Carson but only says a handful of bullying incidents were reported at the school during the last school year.

The lawsuit explains that Gabriel was not the “cool kid” at school but was “a good kid who wanted to be friends with people: he was smart, wanted to learn, earned good grades, avoided fights and arguments, and loved to dress up for school, including wearing neck ties.” They noted that his grades had been going down but they did not know why and had no idea he was suicidal.

Gabriel used a neck tie to hang himself from his bunk bed.

What do you think schools and parents can do to protect kids against bullying? Tell us in the comments below.

To learn more about bullying reports, read these articles:




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