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Chicago Public Schools To Pay $1.25M After Black Child Attempted Suicide And Later Died

Jamari Dent was a special needs student reportedly bullied by both students and staff.

In 2019, Jamari Dent attempted to take his own life after reportedly being bullied not only by students at two Chicago public schools, but according to his mother, school staff also contributed to the abuse. Jamari suffered brain damage leaving him unable to walk or talk, and later died in June of this year. He was 13 years old.

The Chicago Public Schools recently reached a decision to pay his mother Teirra Black $1.25 million, The Chicago Sun Times reports.  The Board of Education will meet today (Oct. 27) to vote on their acceptance of the million dollar settlement.

According to a federal lawsuit issued by Black, school officials at  Evers Elementary and later Carter G. Woodson Elementary did not protect her son who she believes was bullied. Jabari was a special needs student and was found hanging in his home by his 9-year old sister. His death was concluded to be an attempted suicide leading him brain dead and his mother left to pay the bulk of his medical bills since insurance won't cover a death by suicide. 

The complaint stated one white teacher at Woodson called the child “a dirty little n****r” and “stupid and dumb.”

The suit also said teachers and students “repeatedly called [Jamari] ‘stupid,’ ‘dumb’ and ‘r******ed-’ and joked that he would end up at a facility for students with mental disabilities.”

Allegedly, a staff member put Jamari in a chokehold and shoved his head against a wall. The school’s principal supposedly knew about the abuse but didn’t tell Jamari’s mother, according to the complaint .

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The family attorney, Jon Erickson, said after Jamari died in June, “The CPS system has failed Jamari, and other special needs children like him, on a criminal level and they will be held to account. This is the culmination of three years of horrific abuse, neglect and incompetence that resulted in an 11-year-old child feeling he had no option to relieve himself of the pain and cruelty he suffered at the hands of his teachers other than to take his own life.”

Neither Black nor the Chicago Public School have made a statement on the settlement. However after his funeral, Black told the Chicago Sun-Times she had a message for other mom, “If you know that your child is being bullied, please report it.”

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