The family of a 12-year-old boy who hanged himself after two years of bullying is suing New York City, the Board of Education, the young teens who allegedly tormented him, and their parents, the New York Daily News reports. Joel Morales was small for his age, smart, and struggled with anxiety disorders, a stutter, and fine motor skill problems, according to the lawsuit. Joel's mother complained to the Department of Education "multiple times per week" about the "severe, brutal physical and emotional abuse and harassment" the boy suffered, but nothing helped, the lawsuit states.
After a meeting with school officials and the alleged bullies' parents, the children allegedly snuck into Joel's apartment building to throw sticks and pipes at him; he was then transferred to a different school, but they still followed him after school. Through it all, Joel's mother says, the school didn't discipline anyone. (She also tried, unsuccessfully, to be transferred to a different housing project, Daily Intel reports.) The boy was found dead on May 29, 2012. He told a friend he was tired of the way he was being treated just hours before killing himself, the Daily Mail reports.