Personal injury

Family of bully boy who died due to suicide files notice


The grandmother of a 12-year-old student from Buffalo who died by suicide in May has initiated legal action against Buffalo Public Schools, the Buffalo School Board and the City of Buffalo, alleging that they each promoted “willful indifference” to “severe, pervasive, and dangerous cases.” Annoying bullying led to the death of the boy.

Blanca Martinez cited more than 20 reported incidents of bullying of her grandson, Daryl Rivera Reyes, to district teachers, staff and administrators in the two years prior to the boy’s death in Claim notice Prepared by Attorney John F. Maxwell V Maxwell Murphy’s Law.

The notice, which was filed with the district and state Supreme Court in June, is the first step toward filing a civil lawsuit against government agencies or schools.

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Martinez is seeking damages for Reese’s “personal injury, emotional distress, conscious pain and suffering, and wrongful death.” It accuses the school and city entities of negligence and violation of the New York Human Rights Act, the Civil Rights Act, and the Dignity for All Students Act. The state implemented the latter in 2012 as an official measure to address incidents of bullying and harassment.

A 12-year-old boy committed suicide after relentless bullying by a classmate in the 48th grade at Martin Luther King Jr. School in Buffalo. The boy’s grandparents and teachers who spoke to The Buffalo News say the system failed Daryl Rivera Reyes.

Reyes, a bilingual student at School 48, was found dead by his grandmother in their West Side apartment on May 17. Teachers at High Street Primary School examined a bully’s disciplinary record – which was seven pages long, listed several serious offenses and included specific bullying reports – and discussed a pattern of online bullying through social media platforms such as TikTok and Discord that accompanied the personal harassment.

Amid her grief, Martinez – who only speaks Spanish – condemned bullying after the death of her grandson. Telling The Buffalo News through a translator She believes the tragedy could have been avoided if the region had heeded the warning signs documented.

The next step in the legal process is a 50-h hearing — similar to the deposition — on Oct. 2 at City Hall, where Martinez will be questioned under oath about the injuries and damages described in the notice of claim. A company spokesperson said that after the hearing, Maxwell Murphy Law is expected to file a formal lawsuit.

Regional mental health experts say the most important takeaway from the BPS School Climate Survey is the recognition that bullying is a major challenge, and that discussions between teachers, community organizations and students are vital moving forward.

Martinez, who is joined by her mother from Puerto Rico and several family members residing in Buffalo, appeared as a community speaker at a tearful Buffalo School Board meeting in June. With board members closely gathered around her after a microphone malfunction, she spoke through an interpreter and demanded that bullying policies in the district be changed so that other families would not have to experience her grief.

Immediately afterward, Superintendent Tonga M. Williams, who visited Martinez with the assistant superintendent of school leadership shortly after Reyes’ death, committed to assessing Buffalo’s current procedures.

The Buffalo School Board wants to know more about how Buffalo public school principals and school leaders handle state-mandated reports of bullying, harassment, and cyberbullying, as well as how often schools file these reports.

“The superintendent and the entire district continues to offer our deepest condolences and sincere condolences to Darryl Rivera Reyes’ family, friends, students, and school staff,” said Jeffrey Hammond, BPS spokesperson. He said the district learned on July 26 that Martinez’s legal counsel had advised it to stop contacting the Buffalo schools because of the lawsuit.

The notice of claim focuses on the events leading up to Reyes’ death. it claims not to report the bullying; ineffective discipline and services provided to the bully; the inability to protect Reyes’ personal information, which allowed the bully to torture the student’s grandmother as well; Ultimately, the district failed to ensure the safety of the students.

Buffalo Schools features resources prominently on its website To prevent and address bullying. a “Frequently asked questions about bullyingAvailable in five languages, the link links to a bullying incident reporting form and the documents show school contacts.

On August 16, Buffalo School Board General Member Larry Scott passed a resolution, with the unanimous support of the board, calling for the district to be held accountable to the Dignity for All Students Act.

The Board wants clarification on district DASA reporting procedures, and requires that DASA Coordinators be identified for each school and district as a whole to oversee issues of bullying and harassment. It also seeks hard data on the frequency of DASA accident reports in the region over the past five years.

There are many ways to reach a trained counselor in times of crisis. Erie County Crisis Services operates a 24-hour hotline at 716-834-3131. The Niagara County Crisis Hotline is 716-285-3515. The National Suicide and Crisis Lifeline is 988.

A motorcade of cars travels down Postee Street toward the intersection with Hudson Street on Buffalo’s Lower West Side on May 23, the day before the funeral of Daryl Rivera Reyes, the 12-year-old Buffalo high school student who committed suicide after relentless bullying. Family and friends watched the caravan.

Video contributed by the Rivera family

Ben Tsujimoto can be reached at btsujimoto@buffnews.comat (716) 849-6927 or on Twitter at @Tsuj10.


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