An settlement has been reached on Friday, June 4, revealed that Cincinnati Public Schools and a nurse employed by the city will pay $3 million to the parents of an 8-year-old boy who took his own life in 2017 after repeated bullying. The agreement scheduled to be approved by the school board on Monday, June 7, the district has pledged to implement new measures to prevent something similar to happened in the future.
According to a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the parents of Gabriel Taye, the third grader who was subjected to repeated bullying at Carson Elementary school where he was a student, which drove him to take his own life on Jan. 26, 2017
“In honor of Gabe, his family is using this settlement to protect current and future CPS students,” said attorney Al Gerhardstein. “We will make sure these reforms take root and end bullying throughout the CPS system.”
The settlement comes after a federal appeals court ruled in 2020 that the family’s wrongful death suit could move to trial. Subsequently rejecting the district’s immunity claim and pointing out evidence showing school officials acted recklessly in the handling of Taye’s bullying. According to the lawsuit, aggressive behavior between students was “rampant” at Carson. Taye had been subjected to bullying incidents since second grade.
Attorneys for Taye’s family will meet with school officials twice a year for the next two years to monitor the reforms.
Students assaulted Taye on two occasions when he was in the second grade, however, his parents were never contacted according to court documents. In October 2016, a few months before Taye’s death, after Taye defended himself when other students hit him he was told he would be punished if he did so again.
Once Taye got a head injury on Halloween, former Principal Ruthenia Jackson and former Assistant Principal Jeffrey McKenzie says they didn’t know how the injury happened but denied his parents’ ability to look at footage from the playground.
Aaron Herzig, a partner at the Taft law firm that represented the school district claims school officials aren’t responsible for Taye’s death,. Although reaching a resolution is in everyone’s best interest.
“The defendants strongly believe that neither CPS, its employees, nor the school nurse were responsible for the tragic death of Gabriel Taye,” Herzig said. “CPS embraces the goal of eliminating bullying within schools, as well as continuing to refine and improve reporting, management, and training processes related to incidents of bullying.”
A memorial for Taye will be put at his former school. There will be an inscription on the bench will include a photo of Tay will say “I will ALWAYS stand up to bullies. I will ALWAYS be Kind and Respectful. I will ALWAYS be a Friend to others. I will ALWAYS Look out for those in need.”
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