Reynolds' attorneys say she didn't learn her son was bullied until they saw an email written by a Cincinnati police detective that describes a January 24 incident outside a boys' bathroom, where the attorneys say Gabriel was knocked unconscious.
An image from a January 24 video shows the legs of Gabriel Taye as he lies on the floor of a restroom after being knocked unconscious at school in Cincinnati.
The district released copies of a choppy 24-minute-long video that shows one boy bullying other students and then, according to the mother's attorneys, pushing Gabriel into a wall when he tried to shake the boy's hand and knocking him unconscious.
The school district had refused to release the video but made a decision to do so to counter what it said was the detective's suggestion that the children who poked or nudged or kicked Gabriel were assaulting him. The school video shows Gabriel walking into the restroom and reaching out to shake another student's hand. Attorneys for the boy's mother say the child lay unconscious for 7 minutes before an assistant principal came to his aid.
Administrators told the boy's mom that he fainted, Jennifer Branch, the family's attorney, claims. "The school also said his vitals were fine and he was alert". The boy in the red and gray coat hits another boy in the stomach, "sending him to the floor in all fours".
Gabriel's death was the first youth suicide in 2017 in Hamilton County, where Cincinnati is the largest city. Cincinnati Public Schools initially refused to release the video but on Thursday agreed to make it public after the video is edited to blur the identities of the children.
"In fact, if his mother had been told that Gabe was assaulted and was unconscious for over seven minutes on the bathroom floor, she would have taken him to the hospital and not let him return to Carson", the lawyers said.
While the video is hazy, Gabriel's motionless body is seen lying on the floor for several minutes, during which numerous children go past him, step over him, and even kick and poke him with their feet.
According to the spokespersons for the school district a school official contacted Reynolds and advised her to pick up Gabriel and take him to the hospital. Two days later, Taye hanged himself with a necktie in the bedroom of his Cincinnati apartment.
So far, no criminal charges have been filed in connection with the death of 8-year-old Gabriel Taye.
For months after his suicide, Gabriel's mother had no knowledge of the trouble in the school bathroom. People who knew him describe him as a happy-go-lucky kid - "a very loving little boy who always had a smile on his face and would bring a smile to your face", said Carolyn Emery, whose children went to school with him. Although the school didn't disclose the nature of the incident at that time, they did advise the mother to take him to the hospital "to be checked out", as reported by the New York Post. When Reynolds asked him what happened at school the day he was knocked unconscious, he said he didn't know, her attorneys said.
"In an effort to be completely transparent, we are releasing the video that was reviewed as part of an investigation by the Cincinnati Police Department".
Reportedly, Gabriel had no issues with mental health problems and he was often described as a happy child.
Reynolds says she doesn't feel enough was done to prevent bullying at the school.