8-year-old suicide victim's mother breaks silence and releases statement
CINCINNATI (WKRC) - Cincinnati Public Schools have released some of the video surrounding an incident involving the 8-year-old Carson Elementary student, who later committed suicide.
His mother broke her silence on Friday night and released a statement:
Gabriel was a shining light to everyone who knew and loved him. We miss him desperately and suffer everyday. His life was not only stolen from him, but from those of us who expected to watch him grow up and enjoy life. If I could, I would give anything to have him back. I feel he was cheated. I feel robbed. My only child, my best friend and my first true love isn’t here with us physically but I know he’s here in spirit.
I will fight everyday, every second of every minute. I am my son’s voice and it will be heard. As Gabe’s Mother, it is my obligation to make sure that this will never happen again. No this will not go away. People need to know the truth and help fix this epidemic in our society by spreading awareness and speaking up. Parents: it is OK to tell your children to reach for help when someone is hurting them, whether it is at school, outside, home, or anywhere. #IamGabe
The children's faces are blurred and with the stop-motion it's hard to see exactly what has happened. The video does appear to show a boy hit one boy and do something to another, that left that boy on the ground for several minutes. That boy was Gabriel Taye.
Taye's mother says her son killed himself two days after he was assaulted in the bathroom in January. Her attorney learned of the video.
The attorney for Gabe's mother said school administrators told her client that the boy had passed out, not that he was unconscious for seven moments or that he was assaulted.
Back when the incident happened, a spokesperson for Cincinnati Public Schools told Local 12’s Deb Dixon that the medical emergency involving Gabe did not involve him being thrown to the floor.
She took him to the hospital after he kept throwing up and the hospital sent him home. Gabe went back to school two days later. After school, he killed himself.
Some parents of students who attend Carson Elementary rallied outside the school in West Price Hill Friday afternoon. They held up signs that read #JusticeForGabe and "Say No to Bullying." Drivers honked as they drove past them.
"I'm out here for the children; to protect our children and make sure the school starts to do something about the bullying," says Ashley Humphrey whose daughter is a fourth grade student at Carson.
CPS officials have not said what happened to the student who pushed Gabe down.
Our hearts are broken by the loss of this child, and our thoughts are with his parents and extended family. He was an outstanding young man, and this is a great loss for his family and our school community. In an effort to be completely transparent, we are releasing the video that was reviewed as part of an investigation by the Cincinnati Police Department. As all are aware, no charges resulted from that investigation. We have uploaded the video, in its entirety, blurring out faces of the students who appear to protect their privacy. We ask that you review the video, in its entirety. It is our firm position that the allegations portrayed in the media are not supported by the video. Cincinnati Public Schools is reviewing with faculty and staff the procedures regarding adult supervision in the restrooms. We are committed to student safety and ensuring that all CPS schools foster a positive, learning environment.
Staff members at Carson were notified by a student that “a boy is laying on the ground outside of the bathroom.” Once staff members were told about Gabriel, they arrived on the scene to check on him. The staff included the Assistant Principal, a paraprofessional, the lunchroom worker, the school nurse and the Principal. When checking on Gabriel, the school staff members asked him what happened. He responded that he “fell.” He later said that he “fainted.” At no point did Gabriel indicate that he had been hit, yanked, pulled, pushed or assaulted in any way. He had no visible abrasions and there had been no report of a fight of any kind. Gabriel walked away from the scene with school staff and proceeded to the nurse’s office. His mother was called to pick him up. When she arrived, she was told that, while Gabriel’s vital signs were good, she also should take him to the hospital. Cincinnati Public Schools became aware of the video after a homicide officer asked for footage of the incident depicted in the video.