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The parents of a Chicago teen who took his own life are calling for accountability after claiming the school he attended withheld information on the relentless cyberbullying he faced from classmates.
Robert and Rosallene Bronstein told “America’s Newsroom” Friday they were unaware of the extent of the cyberbullying until another student’s mother demanded the Latin School of Chicago conduct an investigation into 15-year-old Nathan’s death.
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The mother, who the Bronsteins didn’t know at the time, visited their home following Nathan’s passing in January to inform them of what happened.
“Aside from the day that he died, the second worst day was finding out how they had kept this information from us and just planned to never tell us,” Robert Bronstein said.
The couple discovered three weeks after their son’s death that another student told Nathan through Snapchat to “go kill himself.” Rosallene Bronstein said the student is still in school and received no punishment.
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The Bronsteins have filed a lawsuit to hold the Latin School of Chicago accountable for wrongdoing in withholding information about the bullying.
School officials responded to the lawsuit, saying, “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.”
Robert Bronstein, however, warned other students will end up in the same situation if there is no transparency and called on parents to be more mindful of what their children are doing online.
“We literally had no idea how common this is,” he said.
“Cyberbullying is essentially an epidemic in our country,” Rosallene Bronstein added. “Kids send messages from their bedrooms to other kids telling them to go kill themselves… They feel so threatened and helpless that they don’t know how to handle it.”
The couple wants accountability so that parents will know how dangerous cyberbullying can be and school administrators will be aware of what they are required to do in response.
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The family is seeking $100 million in damages.
“To the extent that there’s any monetary award, we plan to give every penny of that to anti-cyberbullying and the anti-bullying initiatives, because it has to change,” Robert Bronstein said.