$3M Settlement and Anti-Bullying Reform in Ohio District’s Future After Student Suicide
Cincinnati Public Schools are being blamed for not taking action after an 8-year-old boy was repeatedly bullied.
An 8-year-old boy who endured repeated bullying at Carson Elementary School in Cincinnati took his own life on Jan. 26, 2017. Many times, bullying incidents go unnoticed, but in this case, the attack on Gabriel Taye in the boy’s bathroom was caught on surveillance cameras—not once but twice. The first time Taye spent more than seven minutes on the floor unconscious as students kicked and taunted him.
The family blames Cincinnati Public Schools (CPS) for failing to address the problem and is expected to receive a tentative $3 million settlement by CPS and the school and a nurse employed by the city. The CPS Board of Education approved the settlement on June 7, as reported by The Enquirer.
As part of the settlement, CPS will be required to implement anti-bullying measures, including staff training, efforts to identify repeat bullies and victims, improve the ability of school nurses to report suspected bullying, and use restorative justice principles to intervene with students engaged in bullying, reported ABC News on June 5.
The settlement will also serve as springboard to bring attention to the problem and foster policies and procedures to protect current and future CPS students.
“We will make sure these reforms take root and end bullying throughout the CPS system,” said the family’s lead counsel.
In a statement from lead outside counsel for CPS, the need for reform was acknowledged, but the defendants strongly believe that neither CPS, its employees, nor the school nurse were responsible for the event.
According to a joint press release by both attorneys, the settlement “avoids the cost and uncertainty of continuing disputes” between the two parties.
Gabriel’s death occurred the same day as a bullying incident, at which time he hanged himself at home, per the lawsuit. As part of the reform, the school will hold an “appropriate memorial” for Gabriel at Carson Elementary School.
If you or someone you know might be at risk of suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255, text TALK to 741741 or visit SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resources for additional information.
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