Brooklyn family alleges 12-year-old’s death was caused by bullying
The family of a 12-year-old boy from Brooklyn is calling for an independent investigation, alleging his death was caused by bullying.
News 12 spoke with the family of Romy Vilsaint on Saturday, less than 24 hours after his death. They said Romy was complaining that his head hurt. Romy was then taken to the hospital, where he passed away.
Romy's family says he was beat up and bullied in the three days leading up to his death.
On the Wednesday prior to his death, Romy's family says the 12-year-old was jumped and beat up after school. The family alleges that Romy told school staff and principal about this incident.
On Thursday, the family says another student, who was allegedly given $1 and dared to hit him, punched Romy in the back of the head.
Romy's family says when he complained of headaches in school, he was sent to the nurse who then sent him home instead of the hospital. The next day, Romy died.
While his family says they're happy to have the community standing behind them, they're very upset with the way the city is handling it.
"This should never have happened. Bullying is not a random incident, it is a pattern of behavior," says Nicholas Papain, the attorney for the family. "We need to get to the bottom of this to find out what the school knew, when they knew it, and what they did about it. Those are answers we need."
The Department of Education sent a statement on the incident, which says, "This is a horrible tragedy, and our thoughts are with the family during this incredibly difficult time. The safety of our young people is our absolute priority, and this incident will be thoroughly investigated, and we are providing supports to both the family and school community."
News 12 was told the Department of Education is referring the case to an independent body for investigation.
The medical examiner has not released an official cause of death yet.