Family Files Lawsuit Against City, Alleged Bullies Over Boy’s Suicide
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – The family of a 12-year-old boy who hanged himself after years of alleged bullying is suing the New York City Education Department and the teens who picked on him.
Family members say Joel Morales killed himself at his home last year because he had been repeatedly picked on by other students because he was small and sometimes stuttered.
His mother, Lisbeth Babilonia, is seeking unspecified monetary damages.
“He would be tripped, he would be pushed, they would run after him,” Babilonia’s lawyer, Tedd Kessler, told WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman.
As 1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg reported, Babilonia claims she did everything she could to try to stop the torture.
She said she reported the alleged bullying to administrators at his school and spoke with the parents of the accused bully.
The lawsuit claims the bullying got worse after his mother complained.
Relatives said the bullying didn’t end even when Joel transferred from one East Harlem school to another. They said they asked to be moved to another housing project but were turned down.
“The little kids came to my house and threw sticks at my door. They hit my little brother at school. The crossing guards at the school saw it and they saved my brother from getting his head broken,” Richard Salazar said in May 2012, shortly after his brother hanged himself. “Getting beat up, getting picked on, and I just kept teaching him not to fight, and I guess that was my mistake.”
Kessler said the lawsuit aims “to bring to the forefront the problem that bullying has become.”
The city Law Department declined to comment citing the pending litigation.
You May Also Be Interested In These Stories
- CBS2 Exclusive: Video Shows Staten Island Serial Robbery Suspect In Action
- Park Slope Residents Horrified After Man Tries To Strangle 3 Women
- NYC Officials: Third Person With Legionnaires’ Disease In South Bronx Has Died
- Police Rescue Officer, Good Samaritan Who Went Into East River After Teens
(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)