Teen Killed Himself After Bullying Over COVID-19 Vaccination Status: Lawsuit

Teen Killed Himself After Bullying Over COVID-19 Vaccination Status: Lawsuit
A health care worker fills a syringe with Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine in a file image. (Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images)
Jack Phillips
A 15-year-old boy who was targeted by an allegedly false rumor that he was unvaccinated was bullied until he took his life earlier this year, according to a lawsuit filed by his parents.

A lawsuit (pdf) filed by the boy's parents, Robert and Rosellene Bronstein, accused administrators at the Latin School of Chicago, a private college prep school, of committing “willful failure” to stop the incessant bullying of the boy. They said the harassment led to the teen's suicide.

Speaking to local media, Rosellene Bronstein confirmed that her 15-year-old son, Nate, took his own life in January 2022. "He was very sweet, very kind," she said. "He had a really big heart, he always worried about others."

Their lawsuit names the school, a number of employees, and the parents of alleged bullies.

“A student at the school, whose parents are named in the suit, spread a false rumor that the boy was unvaccinated, the suit alleges. Though he was vaccinated, the boy was harassed about his perceived vaccination status,” the lawsuit said.

After Bronstein's parents tried to communicate with the alleged bully's parents, the harassment escalated, according to the filing. They in the suit that their son was, in fact, vaccinated for COVID-19 but was targeted on a regular basis because of his perceived status.

Meanwhile, they alleged that a teacher told Bronstein at one point that he was going "nowhere in life" due to his perceived status, according to the suit. The teen was also allegedly bullied via Snapchat, where another classmate demanded that he commit suicide, the lawsuit stated.

Their complaint also accused teachers, counselors, and administrators of ignoring the parents' pleas and wouldn't investigate complaints made by the boy. In November and October of last year, the parents attempted to communicate with the school more than 30 times, the suit said, adding that no students who were involved in the alleged bullying were disciplined.

In response to the lawsuit, the Latin School of Chicago disputed the Bronsteins' allegations in the lawsuit, releasing a lengthy statement to local media.

"Our hearts go out to the family, and we wish them healing and peace," the school wrote in a statement. "With respect to their lawsuit, however, the allegations of wrongdoing by the school officials are inaccurate and misplaced ... While we are not, at this time, going to comment on any specific allegation in this difficult matter, the school will vigorously defend itself, its faculty and its staff against these unfounded claims."

The Epoch Times has contacted the school for comment.

If you or a family member is feeling distressed, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. The center provides free and confidential support 24 hours per day, seven days per week. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, or text HOME to 741-741.
Jack Phillips is a senior reporter for The Epoch Times based in New York. He covers breaking news.
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