Mother of bullying victim sues DOE, teen tormenters

Joel Morales, seen in a Facebook photo.
Joel Morales, 12, hanged himself last year. Credit: Facebook

A grieving East Harlem mother is suing four middle-schoolers whose cruelty she believes cost her son his life.

Lisbeth Babilonia, whose 12-year-old son Joel Morales hanged himself last year after two years of relentless bullying drove him from his school, has filed a lawsuit against four of the boy’s former classmates, their parents and the Department of Education, the Daily News reports.

The lawsuit alleges that due to Morales’ small stature and tendency to stutter, he was “the target of ongoing, severe, brutal physical and emotional abuse and harassment.”

After Babilonia reported the situation to the Board of Education, the school set up a meeting with the bullies’ parents, but it only seems to have made things worse for Joel. The boys allegedly went to the apartment block where he lived and pelted him with sticks.

A police report resulted in Morales being transferred to a new school just a few blocks away — not far enough to escape the bullies. Babilonia found her son’s body hanging in the shower on May 29, 2012.

Follow Emily Johnson on Twitter @emilyjreports



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