Distressing surveillance camera footage shows the moment an eight year-old boy was allegedly knocked out in a school bathroom two days before killing himself. The video, filmed at Carson Elementary School in Cincinnati, Ohio, is said to show Gabriel Taye being punched to the floor before being ignored for seven minutes. Students can be seen prodding and poking the youngster, with lawyers for Carson Elementary in court Wednesday in an attempt to dismiss a lawsuit filed by Gabriel’s family over his January 2017 death. Lawyers for the school say they should be immune from liability because they cannot be responsible for violence between students. Gabriel’s mother Cornelia Reynolds found him hanged next to his bunk bed, with the grieving family’s lawyers accusing Carson Elementary of covering up ‘rampant’ bullying there.
Jennifer Branch, the attorney representing the family, said: ‘The school district still, three years later, has not told us what happened. ‘What the principal knew, what the assistant principal knew about how he was bullied and how he was hurt throughout his entire career at Carson Elementary.’
Branch also accused the school of failing to save another video shot the next day, which showed Gabriel being ‘accosted’ by two boys in the same bathroom. Those alleged bullies are then said to have snatched Gabriel’s water bottle ‘and attempted to flush it down a toilet in front of him.’ They say that Gabriel immediately told his teacher what had happened, before going home that evening to take his own life.
The lawsuit further alleges that Gabriel fell victim to bullies’ aggression at least six times during his final school year, but claims Carson Elementary either failed to tell his parents or withheld vital information. A school spokesman said third-grader Gabriel had never mentioned being hurt by other students, and had no visible injuries that flagged-up what was going on. But Branch insists the school was negligent in its treatment of Gabriel, and told Courthouse News Service: ‘These parents had no idea how dangerous his third-grade school was. ‘These parents had no idea what was going on at Carson Elementary School.’ An initial attempt by Carson Elementary’s lawyers to have the case thrown out failed. They now want the US Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals to dismiss the wrongful death suit against the school’s then-principal and vice principal. The school argues that letting the lawsuit go ahead leaves them open to vexatious claims. But Branch is adamant that the circumstances surrounding Gabriel’s death should face legal scrutiny. She told WCPO: ‘The school district is arguing, “Wait, don’t let this case go forward … we’ll get sued all the time.” ‘And I said, “Great. You should be sued if you’re covering this up.”‘