A parent’s worst fear is to have their child go to school and get beat up on. However, that is exactly what happened to Gabriel Taye, an 8-year-old student, who got jumped by a gang of classmates on the school premises, just days before he took his own life.
His parents believe that the school is partially responsible for their son’s suicide, as they took no steps to a) notify them or b) get counseling for the elementary student.
As evidenced by a school surveillance camera, according to The Washington Post, Gabrielle came into the school bathroom and shook hands with one of the other boys. All of a sudden you see him fall onto the ground. He lied there with a number of students walking around him and stepping over him. Eventually, an assistant principal came in and helped him up.
The Washington Post further reports:
“A Cincinnati homicide detective who watched the surveillance video wrote in an email to the assistant principal that a student wearing a red and gray coat punched another student in the stomach and then jumped in the face of a third student in a ‘menacing manner’ immediately before Gabriel walked in. The boy in the coat appeared to pull Gabriel to the ground while shaking his hand, the detective wrote, and seemed to ‘celebrate and rejoice in his behavior.’ Students pointed, mocked, nudged and kicked Gabriel for five minutes while he was unconscious.”
That detective’s name was Eric Karaguleff.
Detective Karagueleff said, “I witnessed behavior that in my belief is bullying and could even rise to the level of criminal assault due to the apparent age of the children involved my current opinion is it could be better dealt with appropriately at the school level.”
Two days later, after this incident, he killed himself. His mother Cornelia Reynold found him dead next to his bunk bed.
But is the school liable?
The school does not believe so. In a statement, the district submitted the following:
“While we are concerned about the length of time that Gabriel lay motionless and the lack of adult supervision at the scene when school administrators became aware of the situation, they immediately followed protocol by calling the nurse to evaluate Gabriel.”
According to his teachers, he was a bright young man, often picked on because he was clean-cut, like to dress up with a tie and did well in school. He had been picked on before. In a lawsuit that his parents have filed against the school, it reveals that he was hit twice and picked on aggressively by students at least six times that school year.
Again… the school did not give a full and accurate account of what was going on in the school.
Gabriel’s mother kept him home for a day, but when he went back to school, two boys stile his water bottle, tried to flush it down the toilet. Gabriel told his teacher but she did not help. The young man killed himself that night.
Tell us what do you think? Is the school liable or what?