Parents test school liability in bullying and child suicide

FILE - This undated file photo provided by Cornelia Reynolds shows her son Gabriel Taye when he was in second grade. The parents of Taye, who hanged himself from his bunk bed with a neck tie want school officials held responsible, alleging that they tolerated and covered up bullying in their federal lawsuit testing the issue of school liability in such cases. The wrongful death suit filed against Cincinnati Public Schools, its officials and staff at his elementary school cites repeated examples of bullying. However, courts have set “a high bar” for finding schools liable. (Cornelia Reynolds via AP, File)

CINCINNATI (AP) – The parents of an 8-year-old Ohio boy who hanged himself from his bunk bed with a necktie are testing the issue of school liability in suicides blamed on bullying.

The wrongful death lawsuit filed by the parents of Gabriel Taye against Cincinnati Public Schools and school officials cites repeated examples of Gabriel and others being bullied at his elementary school. They contend school officials knew about the bullying but played it down, allowing what they call a “treacherous school environment.”

Courts have been reluctant to second-guess school administrators, even as bullying among children remains a common problem. Federal authorities have said that while bullying increases the risk of suicidal behavior, most cases don’t result in suicide or thoughts of suicide.

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