When 8-year-old Gabriel Taye of Cincinnati took his life after he had been bullied in late January, his mother said Friday that his life was taken from her, too.
Cordelia Reynolds wrote a statement Friday night about her son’s Jan. 26 death.
“If I could, I would give anything to have him back,” she wrote, this news outlet’s media partner WCPO-TV in Cincinnati reported. “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.”
Taye, a Carson School student Reynolds described as “a shining light to everyone who knew and loved him,” hanged himself after what his family and their legal team says was an incident of severe physical bullying at school two days before.
School security footage shows Taye collapse to the ground in a boy’s bathroom after reaching a hand out to another boy. He is motionless on the floor for several minutes, and other students appear to stop over or kick his body before adults arrive to check on him, WCPO reported.
Reynolds’ attorney Jennifer Branch said the video shows an attack in which Taye was beaten so severely he lost consciousness. When Reynolds arrived to pick him up from school, she was told her son fainted.
Cincinnati Public Schools disputes Reynolds’ claim and her interpretation of the footage.
Hamilton County Coroner Lakshmi Sammarco told WCPO her office will dig deeper into the case based on a surveillance video taken inside the school and a police detective’s analysis. Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters told WCPO Friday night his office is investigating the possibility of criminal charges in connection to Taye’s death.
Reynolds wrote that she can only work to make her son’s story known and to help other parents reach out to children who might be dealing with bullies, according to the TV station.
“I will fight every day, every second of every minute,” she wrote. “I am my son’s voice and it will be heard. As Gabe’s mother, it’s my obligation to make sure that this will never happen again. No, this will not go away.”
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