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15-Year-Old Student Committed Suicide After Relentless Bullying About Perceived Vaccination Status and School Turned a ‘Blind Eye,’ Lawsuit Alleges


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This is a heartbreaking story.

A lawsuit claims a 15-year-old boy who was initially targeted by a false rumor that he was unvaccinated was bullied relentlessly until he took his own life in January.

The suit filed Monday against the Latin School of Chicago alleges administrators at the private college prep school — which charges more than $40,000 annually in tuition — committed “willful failure” to stop the incessant bullying, the Chicago Tribune reported.

The 15-year-old student reportedly was “tormented on a regular basis” by students at the prestigious school.

From the Chicago Tribune:

The suit, filed by the boy’s parents, Robert and Rosellene Bronstein, accuses administrators at the school of “willful failure” to do anything about the bullying, even though they received numerous complaints from the boy and his family. The complaint, filed in Cook County, names the school, a number of employees and parents of the alleged bullies.

Latin, a top-ranked school that charges more than $40,000 per year in tuition, includes former first lady Nancy Reagan, former U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Marshall Harlan II and other well-known public figures as alums.

In a statement, the school called the claims unfounded. It said it “deeply grieves” the death of one of its students, but that it plans to “vigorously defend itself.”

“The allegations of wrongdoing by the school officials are inaccurate and misplaced,” the statement read. “The school’s faculty and staff are compassionate people who put students’ interests first, as they did in this instance.”

The boy, identified as N.B. in the suit, transferred to Latin from Francis Parker School due to Latin’s in-person learning during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the complaint.

A student at the school, whose parents are named in the suit, spread a false rumor that the boy was unvaccinated, the suit alleges. Though he was vaccinated, the boy was harassed about his perceived vaccination status, the suit says. The Bronsteins reached out to the student’s family about the alleged harassment, according to the suit.

The bullying escalated from there, according to the lawsuit. He was told by a teacher in front of a class that he was going “nowhere in life,” the suit alleges, and was cyberbullied in a group text message thread by members of the junior varsity basketball team and on the social media app Snapchat. A Snapchat message circulated around the school said of the boy: “Ur a terrible person.”

The suit alleges that on December 13th, a student sent a Snapchat message to the boy encouraging him to kill himself.

The suit also says N.B. met with a school administrator and counselor to report the bullying, but the alleged bully did not face discipline.

Rosellene Bronstein had also contacted the school counselor about the bullying and feared her son might hurt himself.

She notified school employees about the bullying numerous times, but the school dismissed her concerns as “family issues,” the suit says.

Bronstein allegedly contacted Latin more than 30 times in October and November alone.

The New York Post added:

The teen also reported the bullying to a school dean, but was disregarded, according to the lawsuit.

One month after Nate was urged to kill himself by another student on Snapchat, his father found him hanging from a noose tied to a shower in a bathroom at the family’s home on Jan. 13, CBS Chicago reported.

Rosellene Bronstein said the school never told her that Nate had requested a meeting with his dean over the alleged Snapchat bullying.

“We would have known, and we would have protected him, and he’d still be here today,” she told the station.

The lawsuit claims the Latin School of Chicago – whose alums reportedly include former first lady Nancy Reagan and former US Supreme Court Justice John Marshall Harlan II – violated a state law requiring schools to investigate reports of bullying and to notify parents of all students involved.

CBS Chicago aired this video report:



 

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