CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - The attorney for the family of an 8-year-old Carson Elementary School student who committed suicide in January believes the boy was assaulted at school two days before he died, and the attorney claims that school officials did not notify the boy's mother about the attack.
The mother of the boy hired attorney Jennifer Branch to find out what happened at school before her son took his own life on Jan. 26.
"Mom is really heartbroken that she didn't know what she needed to know to protect her son," Branch said.
Branch said that they now know there is school security video from Jan. 24 that shows another student camping out in the school bathroom around noon and hitting and threatening students.
In the video, Branch said that you see the 8-year-old walk into the bathroom and try to shake the attacker's hand, but the attacker forces him to the ground.
"He ends up on the floor, unconscious for seven and a half minutes," Branch said.
The video, which has not been released to the media or the public, then reportedly shows other students mocking the boy and kicking him. Branch said that eventually the assistant principal and nurse come into the bathroom to revive the eight-year-old.
However, what is on the video, according to Branch, is not part of the story that school officials told his mother.
"Mom is called, and she's told that he fainted," Branch said.
Branch said that the boy ended up vomiting later that night, so his mother took him to the hospital and was told that he likely had the stomach flu.
He missed school on Jan. 25 and went back to Carson on Jan. 26.
"He came home from school that last day," Branch said. "Mom found him [dead] in his bedroom a few hours later."
Branch said that a Cincinnati Police detective also saw the video and called it "alarming" and "bullying" in a report. She said that his report is what led her to discovering the video.
Branch said that the boy's mother wants answers and wants justice.
"Maybe this had been going on for years, and she had no idea, so she couldn't help him," Branch said. "She couldn't protect him, and now she wants to know what was really going on."
Branch said that they are hoping other parents and students might come forward with more information.
A friend of the 8-year-old's family provided FOX19 NOW a statement that reads:
"He was a shining light to everyone who knew and loved him. We miss him desperately and suffer everyday without him. His life was stolen not only from him, but from those of us who expected to watch him grow up."
FOX19 NOW did reach out to Cincinnati Public Schools for comment on this story through emails, phone calls and text messages, but those attempts have been unsuccessful so far.
Cincinnati Police stated that they did investigate the incident.
If you or anyone you know are feeling desperate, or beyond hope here are some phone numbers that you can call 24 hours a day for free counseling:
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
- Talbert House's hotline line: 513-281-CARE (2273).
- Talbert House's text line: Text the phrase 4hope to 839863
- The state of Ohio's text line: Text the phrase 4hope to 741741
- Mental Health Association of Northern Kentucky and Southwest Ohio: 859-431-1077
- Mental Health Access Point mobile crisis line: 513-558-8888.
- Mindpeace, at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, 513-803-0844.
- Mental Health Recovery Services of Warren & Clinton Counties: 1-877-695-6333