CINCINNATI — The parents of an 8-year-old Ohio boy who hanged himself from his bunk bed with a necktie want school officials held responsible, 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 were “deliberately indifferent,” allowing a “treacherous school environment.”
Knowledge of harassment and failure to do something are among elements set out in a 1999 U.S. Supreme Court ruling for school liability cases.
“The deliberate indifference standard set forth (by the Supreme Court) sets a high bar for plaintiffs,” a 2016 opinion by a three-judge panel of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals says. “It requires only that school administrators respond to known peer harassment in a manner that is not ‘clearly unreasonable in light of the known circumstances.’”
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