Photo: Joel Morales, 12, hanged himself after years of bullying
The family of a 12-year-old boy who hanged himself last year is now suing the state of New York, the Board of Education and his tormentors.
For two years, Joel Morales was bullied by other students at his school, PS 102.
According to the lawsuit, “While a student at PS 102 Joel was constantly physically and emotionally abused and harassed by students who targeted him because of his diminutive size, weight, intelligence, athleticism, hyperactivity, physical appearance, stutter, etc.”
The lawsuit also states the boy suffered from unspecified anxiety disorders.
The boy’s mother, Lizbeth Babilonia, complained to Department of Education personnel every week, but the bullying of her son continued.
When the school finally held a meeting with the alleged abusers’ parents, the bullying only worsened. Babilionia even filed a report with the New York Police Department. Joel was eventually taken out of PS 102 and moved a few blocks away to PS 57, but the bullies would still follow him home, at one point even getting into the family’s building and pelting Joel with pipes and sticks.
Sadly, after two years of emotional and physical abuse, on May 29, 2012 the pre-teen hanged himself.
His mother has now filed a lawsuit in the Manhattan Supreme Court and is seeking unspecified monetary damages.