After Suicide, Schools to Pay Parents $3M

Third grader Gabriel Taye was repeatedly beaten by students
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 6, 2021 9:55 AM CDT
After Suicide, Schools to Pay Parents $3M
Gabriel Taye, shown when he was in second grade, liked to wear ties to school.   (Cornelia Reynolds via AP, File)

Gabriel Taye's classmates beat, kicked, and bullied him, even leaving him unconscious, his parents say. School administrators were dismissive of his injuries, telling Gabriel's parents that he'd knocked two teeth loose in a playground accident, and attributed his being punched in the face by two students to "horseplay." Gabriel never complained or told anyone about the abuse. But one day in 2017, the 8-year-old came home from school, went into his room, and hanged himself with a necktie. After fighting their federal lawsuit, arguing governmental immunity, school district officials have now agreed to pay his parents $3 million. The settlement goes to the board of Cincinnati Public Schools for a vote Monday, the New York Times reports.

The school district admits no guilt for Gabriel's death in the settlement, per CNN. "The defendants strongly believe that neither CPS, its employees, nor the school nurse were responsible for the tragic death of Gabriel Taye," a district lawyer said. But Cincinnati schools agreed to take steps to prevent bullying, and its strengthened program to counter it will be monitored by lawyers for Gabriel's parents; in 2017, the elementary school reported four cases of bullying, though incident logs show many. A three-judge panel that rejected dismissing the suit also found the school didn't punish the students who attacked Gabriel. Employees are to receive training. And a memorial to Gabriel will be installed at Carson Elementary School. In seeking the changes, a lawyer said, his parents "have been waiting for the moment that they would see the possibility that Gabe did not die in vain." (More bullying stories.)

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