Mom of 8-year-old Ohio boy who killed himself vows he “will be heard”

CINCINNATI (AP) — The mother of an 8-year-old Ohio boy who killed himself after she says he was bullied at school pledges to speak out on his behalf.

Cornelia Reynolds said in a Friday statement that her son Gabriel Taye’s voice “will be heard” and she urges parents to tell their children to seek help if they are being hurt.

“It is my obligation to make sure that this will never happen again,” she said. “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.”

Reynolds’ attorneys say she didn’t learn her son was bullied until they saw an email written by a Cincinnati police detective that describes the scene outside a boys’ bathroom, where the attorneys say Gabriel was knocked unconscious. He hanged himself two days later at his home.

In this still image from a Jan. 24, 2017, surveillance video provided by Cincinnati Public Schools, the legs and feet of 8-year-old Gabriel Taye can be seen as he lies on the floor of a boys’ bathroom after being knocked unconscious by another boy at Carson Elementary School. Two days later, Taye hanged himself with a necktie in the bedroom of his Cincinnati apartment. (Cincinnati Public Schools via AP)

The Cincinnati school district says the boy told staff he had fainted and never said he had been bullied or assaulted.

Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters said his office is looking into possible charges in the case. The Hamilton County coroner said earlier that she is reopening the investigation into Gabriel’s suicide.

Cincinnati Public Schools on Friday released copies of a choppy 24-minute-long video that shows one boy bullying other students. The mother’s attorneys say he pushed Gabriel into a wall, knocking him unconscious.

“It is our firm position that the allegations portrayed in the media are not supported by the video,” the district said in a statement.

The release also noted that police reviewed the video and no charges were filed.

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