December 29, 2020. Cincinnati, Ohio. After over two years on appeal, today the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals denied Cincinnati Public Schools’ appeal. CPS had appealed U.S. District Court Judge Timothy S. Black’s ruling allowing Gabriel Taye’s parents’ civil rights and wrongful death case against CPS to go forward. Gabe’s parents are frustrated CPS’s appeal delayed the case but are eager to bring the facts of what happened to Gabe to a jury.
In January 2017, Gabe, who was eight years old and a third grade student at Carson Elementary School, committed suicide after being bullied at school. The parents’ lawsuit claims the school principal and assistant principal knew of the bullying Gabe faced at Carson and kept it from his parents. Without their own investigation after his death, his parents would never have learned that two days before Gabe died he was attacked by a student and left unconscious on the bathroom floor for over seven minutes while students taunted and kicked him. Had his parents been notified of what happened they would have removed him from Carson immediately. But CPS concealed the attack in the bathroom, as well as other evidence that Gabe was bullied at Carson. Because CPS hid the truth, Gabe returned to school where he was again bullied in the same bathroom. Soon after he came home from school that final day, he hung himself.
“The Court read the complaint and ruled it should not be dismissed, despite CPS’s gross mischaracterization of the facts in the complaint. The Court stated that the falsifying of bullying that occurred prevented Gabe’s parents from fully understanding Gabe’s ‘horrifying experience at Carson Elementary until it was too late.’ It is not too late for Gabe’s family to seek justice, not just for Gabe, but for all children who may be bullied at CPS schools. The truth about what happened to Gabe at Carson Elementary needs to be revealed and shared with all parents. We have been able to gather testimony and evidence these last few months. Now we can proceed to trial.” said Jennifer L. Branch, lead attorney for Gabriel’s mother, Cornelia Reynolds. “Since 2017, we have committed our resources, our time, our minds and hearts to bring justice to Gabe, an 8 year old victim of vicious bullying. Thanks to the non-stop efforts of this legal team, in there may be a day when children, who as victims of bullies had no place to turn, can turn to the courts for much needed relief,” said Michele Young, attorney for the estate and Gabriel Taye’s father, Benyam Taye.
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