An 8-year-old student at a Cincinnati elementary school who committed suicide in January was assaulted at school two days before he died, and an attorney for the family contends that school officials did not notify the boy's mother about the attack.
WXIX-TV reports that the mother of the boy, a third-grade student at Carson Elementary School, hired attorney Jennifer Branch to find out what happened before her son took his own life on Jan. 26.
Branch says school security video from Jan. 24 shows another student camping out in a school bathroom and hitting and threatening students. After the 8-year-old walks into the bathroom, the attacker forces him to the ground.
"He ends up on the floor, unconscious for seven-and-a-half minutes," Branch says.
The video then reportedly shows other students mocking the boy and kicking him. Branch says that eventually the assistant principal and nurse come into the bathroom to revive the eight-year-old.
Branch contends that school officials did not tell the boy's mother that he had been attacked.
"Mom is called, and she's told that he fainted," Branch says.
The boy ended up vomiting later that night; his mother took him to the hospital and was told that he likely had the stomach flu.
He missed school on Jan. 25 and went back to Carson on Jan. 26.
"He came home from school that last day," Branch says. "Mom found him [dead] in his bedroom a few hours later."
The boy hanged himself from his bunk bed.
Branch says a Cincinnati police detective viewed the video and called it "alarming" and "bullying" in a report. The police report is what led Branch to discovering the video.
In a report obtained by The Cincinnati Enquirer, a Cincinnati Police homicide detective describes the Jan. 24 school video’s content: “I witnessed behavior that in my belief is bullying and could even rise to the level of criminal assault” if not for the young ages of the perpetrators.
Police investigated the bathroom incident but did not pursue charges.
Branch said that the boy's mother wants answers.
"She couldn't protect him, and now she wants to know what was really going on." Branch says.
Video from WXIX-TV: