NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A grieving family is demanding an investigation from the New York City Department of Education.
This after 12-year-old Romy Vilsaint died unexpectedly last week, they say after being bullied at school.READ MORE: Every NYC Resident Now Eligible For In-Home COVID Vaccine, De Blasio Says
CBS2’s Aundrea Cline-Thomas has more on their pleas for more information.
‘When Romy died last Friday, I felt like my womb was ripped out of my body,” Jeanne Vilsaint, Romy’s godmother, said. She’s among the 12-year-old’s grieving family members desperate for answers.
“The only thing we know as a family, we know we sent our kid to school and unfortunately he’s dead,” uncle Lamarre Vilsaint said.
Protesters gathered outside of Public School 361 in outrage.
The fifth grader immigrated to the United States from Haiti in 2017 and had an accent, which his family believes made him a target for bullies at the school in East Flatbush.
Last week, they say Romy was attacked multiple times, including what they described as a dare.
“On Thursday morning, he was slapped on the back of his head, for one dollar,” Romy’s aunt Berta Fausta said.READ MORE: Bronx Home Invasion Thieves Steal $100,000 In Cash, Police Say
“Romy reportedly went to the school nurse complaining of head pain,” said Assembly member Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn.
The 12-year-old’s family took him to Kings County Hospital, where he later died.
“We want to know who knows, what did the principal know? When did they know it? And what did they do about it?” Lamarre Vilsaint said.
Cline-Thomas took those concerns to the Department of Education. They responded with this statement:
Romy was a beloved member of the PS 361 community and this is an awful, heart-wrenching tragedy. We understand from public reports that the Medical Examiner’s Office has stated that the student did not suffer physical trauma and that the cause of death is pending further study. Our thoughts are with the family during this incredibly difficult time, and a full investigation is underway.
Meantime, the cause and manner of death are pending further studies, according to the medical examiner, who also said there was no trauma.
“We don’t know anything,” Lamarre Vilsaint said. “Nobody is telling us anything.”
Gripped with unbearable sorrow, a family now prepares to say goodbye to a child who came here for a brighter future.MORE NEWS: More Than 1,000 People Show Up For Party In Long Branch After Social Media Blast
Romy loved basketball and was preparing to graduate from fifth grade next month.