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CPS Agrees To Settlement In Taye Wrongful Death Case, District And Nurse To Pay $3M

Courtesy Jennifer Branch

Cincinnati Public Schools is expected to reach a settlement agreement to resolve a wrongful death lawsuit filed after 8-year-old Gabriel Taye died by suicide following instances of bullying at Carson Elementary School.

CPS and a nurse employed by the city of Cincinnati have agreed to pay $3 million as part of the settlement. 

The agreement is subject to the approval of the Board of Education, which meets Monday. The proposed settlement also builds on the bullying reporting system now in place at CPS and includes the following additional non-economic terms:

  1. Improved efforts to identify bullying by tracking repeat offenders, repeat victims and repeat locations where acts of bullying take place regardless of how the school or district becomes aware of the bullying;
  2. Improving the ability of school nurses to report suspected incidents of bullying within the district's reporting system;
  3. Intervening with those engaged in bullying by using restorative justice principles;
  4. Adopting the state model policy for deterring bullying;
  5.  Training and supervising all staff to follow the reforms;
  6. Placing an appropriate memorial to Gabriel Taye at Carson School.

In a statement, Taye attorney Al Gerhardstein said, "In honor of Gabe, his family is using this settlement to protect current and future CPS students. We will make sure these reforms take root and end bullying throughout the CPS system."
Representing CPS, attorney Aaron Herzig in a statement said, "Resolution of this difficult matter is in the best interest of all parties. The defendants strongly believe that neither CPS, its employees, nor the school nurse were responsible for the tragic death of Gabriel Taye. CPS embraces the goal of eliminating bullying within schools, as well as continuing to refine and improve reporting, management, and training processes related to incidents of bullying."

In December 2020, following a two-year appeal process, the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court allowed the wrongful death suit against Cincinnati Public Schools to move forward.

Taye died by suicide in 2017. According to the lawsuit, it was a result of bullying he suffered at Carson Elementary School.

Two days before his death, Taye was allegedly attacked in a bathroom at the school, and left unconscious for over seven minutes. The suit alleges CPS withheld information regarding the attack, and when Taye returned to the school, he was again bullied in the same bathroom. He died later that same day.

Cincinnati Public Schools created a tool to report instances of bullying in the district following Taye's death.

If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline to speak with a certified listener at 800-273-8255.

Cory Sharber attended Murray State University majoring in journalism and political science and comes to Cincinnati Public Radio from NPR Member station WKMS.