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Ohio parents of boy who killed himself over bullying can sue educators, court rules


A federal appeals court on #Tuesday ruled that the parents of an 8-year-old boy who killed himself because he was repeatedly bullied can sue the #Cincinnati school district.

The three-judge panel of the 6th U.S. #Circuit #Court #Appeals said #Gabriel #Taye’s parents had established “reckless behavior” that prevents school officials from receiving governmental immunity for their handling of the case.

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FILE: A photo of #Gabriel #Taye when he was in second grade.
(#Cornelia #Reynolds via AP)

#Cornelia #Reynolds and #Benyam #Taye, allege that school officials either misrepresented bullying attacks on their son, #Gabriel #Taye, or failed to inform them. The court ruling says that administrators at #Carson #Elementary didn’t call 911 when #Gabriel was knocked out, failed to punish the bullies, didn’t tell teachers of problems, didn’t supervise the bathroom despite repeated bullying, and withheld information.

#In their complaint, the parents accuse school officials with intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress and failure to report child abuse. #Gabriel was bullied at his elementary school starting in first grade, and the bullying escalated when he was in third grade, according to the lawsuit.

#Gabriel was punched and kicked by students in assaults and on #Jan. 24, 2017, he was knocked unconscious after being throwing against a bathroom wall, according to the lawsuit.

#He stayed home sick the next day, returned to school on #Jan. 26 and was bullied again in the bathroom by students who took his water bottle and tried to flush it down the toilet, his parents say. #Gabriel killed himself that evening in his bedroom.

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They “ultimately, prevented #Taye’s parents from fully understanding #Gabriel’s horrifying experience at #Carson #Elementary until it was too late,” #Judge #Bernice #Bouie #Donald wrote. The opinion noted that the school’s safety guidelines warned that suicide can result from bullying.

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“#This is a preliminary decision based on plaintiffs’ side of the story and assuming that everything they say in their complaint is true,” the defendants’ attorney, #Aaron #Herzig, said by email. “#However, it does not reflect the facts as they have developed throughout this case.”

#He declined to say whether there would be further appeals of the ruling, which upheld a lower court.

“The truth about what happened to #Gabe at #Carson #Elementary needs to be revealed and shared with all parents,” #Jennifer #Branch, attorney for the #Gabriel’s mother, said by email. “#We have been able to gather testimony and evidence these last few months. #Now we can proceed to trial.”

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The #Cincinnati school district could not be reached for comment.

The #Associated #Press contributed to this report.

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https://www.foxnews.com/us/court-rules-ohio-parents-boy-8-killed-himself-bullying-can-sue-educators

##Ohio #parents #boy #killed #bullying #sue #educators #court #rules

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