Lawsuit to proceed against CPS over 8-year-old student’s suicide

Lawsuit to proceed against CPS over 8-year-old student’s suicide
Gabriel Taye (Photo: Provided by Jennifer Branch)

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - A federal judge is allowing a lawsuit to proceed against Cincinnati Public Schools by the parents of an 8-year-old student who committed suicide last year following bullying at his school.

U.S. District Court Judge Timothy Black denied the district’s request to dismiss the case Monday.

Gabriel Taye hung himself off his bunk bed in his bedroom on Jan. 26, 2017, authorities have said.

The court found that the lawsuit may continue on a number of claims, including that CPS officials made misrepresentations to and concealed information from Gabe’s parents.

Gabe’s parents filed the lawsuit, according to one of their attorneys, “because CPS knew Gabe was the victim of bullying, including an attack by classmates that left him unconscious for more than seven minutes, yet misrepresented to his mother that Gabe had merely ‘fainted.'"

“CPS also concealed from his parents the extent of the bullying that went on at Carson Elementary School. In allowing the case to go forward, the Court recognized that suicide is a risk of bulling,” wrote attorney Jennifer Branch in a news release.

“Our children face a national epidemic of bulling and suicide in this country. What happened to Gabe Taye, an eight-year-old boy who committed suicide in third grade, should not happen to any other elementary school child."

“By allowing this case to proceed,” she wrote, "we will have the chance to hold Cincinnati Public Schools accountable for their covering up what happened to Gabe and for their placing him in danger.

“No other parent should be kept in the dark by a school district about the level of danger their child faces at school. That is why Gabe’s parents brought this case.”

We reached out to CPS for comment.

“Cincinnati Public Schools is reviewing the decision, and we are contemplating our options,” said district spokeswoman Lauren Worley.

The lawsuit will now move onto the next phase: discovery and then trial, which would not be expected to take place until after the end of this current school year, according to Branch.

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