On Monday, two grieving parents filed a lawsuit against a private school in Chicago, alleging that school officials failed to stop the bullying of their teenage son over his vaccination status, which eventually led to his suicide.
As reported by the New York Post, the suit filed by the parents of 15-year-old Nate Bronstein alleges that administrators at the Latin School of Chicago were repeatedly told by Bronstein himself of the constant bullying that he faced, but did nothing to stop the harassment and never informed his parents of the situation. The suit, filed in Cook County, names the school, several employees, and several parents of the alleged bullies all as defendants.
Bronstein had been transferred to the Latin School specifically because it was one of the only schools in the area that had gone back to in-person learning in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. But during his time there, Bronstein fell victim to the spread of rumors throughout the student body that he was unvaccinated, despite the fact that he really had received the vaccine. Nate’s parents, Robert and Roselle, claimed that they had even reached out to the parents of the student who first started the false rumor, to no avail.
The lawsuit claims that the harassment even extended to teachers, with a teacher telling Nate, in front of the whole class, that he was “going nowhere in life.” Nate was also relentlessly bullied on SnapChat, where at least one student messaged him and told him to kill himself back in mid-December. Following this incident, Nate told a school administrator about the bullying, but no action was taken against the culprits.
Roselle even reached out to a school counselor about the bullying, explicitly stating her concerns that it would lead to Nate harming himself, but the counselor downplayed her fears as “family issues.” She tried to contact the school about the matter again at least 30 times, only for officials to turn a “blind eye” to her warnings. Nate’s attempt to report the bullying to the school dean was also ignored, and the school never informed his parents about Nate’s request to the dean.
On January 13th, Robert found his son dead in the bathroom at home, hanging from a noose tied to the shower.
Roselle said that if the school had told her and her husband about Nate’s repeated attempts to warn officials about what was happening, then they “would have known, and we would have protected him, and he’d still be here today.”
The lawsuit specifically accuses the school of violating a state law which requires all schools to investigate any accusations of bullying, and to inform the parents of all students involved in any such incidents.
But the school denied all accusations and defended itself in a statement responding to the lawsuit, vowing to “vigorously defend” itself in court. While the school wished the parents “healing and peace,” the statement claimed that “with respect to their lawsuit, however, the allegations of wrongdoing by the school officials are inaccurate and misplaced. The school’s faculty and staff are compassionate people who put students’ interests first, as they did in this instance.”