Learn Why Child Took Own Life

The thought of an 8-year-old child committing suicide is so awful most people probably do not want to even think about it. But it happened earlier this year in Cincinnati, and the circumstances dictate that we do think about it.

On Jan. 26, little Gabriel Taye went to the bathroom in his home and used a necktie to hang himself. He did so two days after a serious bullying situation at his elementary school.

A surveillance video shows that on Jan. 24, Taye tried to shake hands with another student, outside a restroom. The other child pushed him against a wall hard enough to knock Taye unconscious. That happened after the bully hit another youngster, knocking him down on his hands and knees.

Taye lay on the floor for 7 1/2 minutes before an assistant principal arrived to help him. School officials say Taye told them he had fainted.

Among troubling questions about what happened are these:

∫ Why did no one at the school think to review the surveillance video until after Taye committed suicide? One might have thought that would be standard procedure in such a situation.

∫ Why did it take 7 1/2 minutes for an adult to come to the child’s aid? Did none of the several children who passed by him think it was important to notify an adult?

∫ Has anything been done about the boy who bullied Taye and, to judge by the video, at least one other child?

∫ Why was Taye’s mother not informed he was bullied until after his death, when she saw an email by a police detective describing what was seen in the video?

∫ Perhaps most troubling of all, how was it that no one — not school officials, not his friends, not his mother — understood the depth of Taye’s depression until after he killed himself?

An investigation into what happened is continuing. Charges may be filed. Almost undoubtedly, one or more lawsuits will come into play.

Perhaps some information will surface from that process. It is difficult, however, to conceive of any satisfactory answer to the basic question: How could it be that an 8-year-old child decided– or was driven — to take his own life?


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)