A 15-year-old boy, who was initially targeted by a false rumor he wasn’t vaccinated, was relentlessly bullied until he took his own life in January, a lawsuit says.
The lawsuit filed Monday against the Latin School of Chicago alleges administrators at the private college preparatory school — which charges more than $40,000 annually in tuition — “willfully failed” to stop the incessant bullying, the Chicago Tribune reported.
The Cook County filing named the school, several employees and parents of the alleged bullies as the accused. The late teenager, identified as NB in the suit, was transferred to the school for personal study during the coronavirus pandemic, the complaint said.
A student whose parents are named in the lawsuit then spread a rumor that 10th grader Nate Bronstein was unvaccinated, according to the lawsuit.
Nate was indeed vaccinated, the lawsuit states, but he was still regularly harassed about his perceived status. The boy’s parents, Robert and Rosellene Bronstein, have even contacted the other student’s family about the constant molestation, the lawsuit alleges.
But the harassment only got worse — when Nate was told by a teacher in the class that he wasn’t going “anywhere in life,” according to the lawsuit.
The teenager was also bullied on Snapchat online, where another student urged him to kill himself in mid-December, the lawsuit alleges.
Nate met with a school administrator at the time, but none of the students involved in the cyberbullying were disciplined, his parents claim.
Rosellene Bronstein had also reached out to a counselor about the bullying, saying she was concerned her son might injure himself, but the school downplayed her concerns as “family issues,” according to the lawsuit.
Nate’s mother contacted the school more than 30 times in October and November alone, but school officials reportedly ignored the family’s calls for help. The teenager also reported the bullying to a school dean but was ignored, according to the lawsuit.
A month after Nate was told to kill himself on Snapchat by another student, his father found him hanging from a noose attached to a shower in a bathroom at the family home on Jan. 13, CBS Chicago reported.
Rosellene Bronstein said the school never told her Nate asked to meet with his dean about the alleged Snapchat bullying.
“We would have known and we would have protected him and he would still be here today,” she told the broadcaster.
The lawsuit alleges that the Latin School of Chicago — whose graduates reportedly include former First Lady Nancy Reagan and former US Judge John Marshall Harlan II — violated a state law requiring schools to investigate reports of bullying and notify the parents of all students involved.
The school, meanwhile, dismissed the allegations as “unsubstantiated allegations” and vowed to “vigorously defend itself in court”.
“Our hearts go out to the family and we wish them healing and peace,” the statement said. “However, in relation to her lawsuit, allegations of misconduct by school officials are inaccurate and misplaced. The faculty and staff of the school are compassionate people who put the interests of the students first, as they did in this case.”
If you are struggling with suicidal thoughts or having a mental health crisis and live in New York City, you can call 1-888-NYC-WELL for free and confidential crisis counseling. If you live outside of the five counties, you can call the 24/7 National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or go to SuicidePreventionLifeline.org.
https://nypost.com/2022/04/27/student-died-by-suicide-after-bullying-about-his-vaccination-status-suit/ Student died by suicide after being bullied over his vaccination status: suit