CINCINNATI (FOX19) –
Officials with Cincinnati Public Schools released a video that, according to family members, shows a bullying incident that may have led an 8-year-old boy to take his own life.
The Carson Elementary student died by suicide on Jan. 26. School security video from Jan. 24 shows a fellow student apparently hit the boy inside the restroom, according to an attorney for the victim’s family.
The events are then obscured by a bathroom wall and choppy video quality.
The video then shows the boy on the ground with his legs visible through the bathroom door.
He was unconscious for several minutes before an adult noticed the situation. Three adults then surround the boy and he’s eventually able to walk himself out of the bathroom.
CPS released the video Friday, one day after the Hamilton County Coroner reopened the child’s death investigation.
They also made the following statement hours after the video release.
“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, it is 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.”
A CPS spokesperson said the school is concerned about the length of time the child lay motionless and the lack of adult supervision at the scene.
However, school officials maintain administrators followed protocol once they became aware of the situation.
A school nurse determined the boy’s vital signs were normal, the spokesperson said.
Administrators told the boy’s mom that he fainted, Jennifer Branch, the family’s attorney, claims. She said his mother was never notified of the alleged bathroom assault.
“At no point did Gabriel indicate that he had been hit, yanked, pulled, pushed or assaulted in any way,” read a statement from the school district. “He had no visible abrasions and there had been no report of a fight of any kind.”
The 24-minute video appears to show a boy wearing a red vest checking out a doorway before jumping on another student inside the bathroom.
As the video continues, the boy in a red vest shakes the hand of another student in a black jacket. The boy then appears to fall on the ground and lays there motionless for several minutes.
The video shows several students walk in and out of the bathroom and check on the motionless boy.
READ MORE: Cleveland19.com
Article Courtesy of WXIX-TV Cincinnati and WOIO Cleveland 19 News
Picture Courtesy of Ulrich Baumgarten and Getty Images
Video Courtesy of WCPO-TV Cincinnati and YouTube