Parents of Mya Vizcarrondo, Bronx High School student who killed herself sue NYC, claiming daughter’s suicide could’ve been prevented after months of bullying. School officials failed to take adequate action.
The suit follows, Mya Vizcarrondo, 16, jumping to her death from the roof of her mother’s 34th story apartment in February after being bullied into performing sex acts on two boys at school earlier that day. The incident follows the girl according to her parents having been relentlessly bullied in the five months prior – with school authorities allegedly refusing to take action or notifying the parents.
In the suit, filed at Bronx Supreme Court, the teen enrolled at Harry Truman HS in September 2017- where she immediately found herself becoming a target, the nypost reported.
‘The employees of Harry S. Truman had actual notice of the intimidation but failed to intervene,’ explained family lawyer, John Scola.
Scola said Vizcarrondo was forced into sexual conduct with other students and that staffers were aware of the situation — because she told them.
Mya Vizcarrondo lawsuit. Bronx student constant target at school:
One student in particular, referred to in the suit only as Vivianna D., zeroed in on Vizcarrondo with constants body-shaming attacks, court papers state.
Unable to endure the torment, the honors student’s attendance began to wane toward the end of 2017, according to the suit.
Concerned about her worsening demeanor, her parents, Heriberto Rios and Nelly Vizcarrondo, met with a guidance counselor in January 2018 — just weeks before her death, the papers state.
But the staffer – along with Principal Keri Alfano – failed to relay the severity of Vizcarrondo’s abuse, court papers state.
When the girl complained to school personnel directly, she was told they would investigate and was instructed to return to class, according to the suit.
The day before her suicide, a friend of the teen told a counselor that she was concerned for her well-being.
The counselor talked to Vizcarrondo that same day — but never informed her parents about their conversation or that they should perhaps monitor her state with extra care.
‘The guidance counselor saw and willfully ignored the signs that M.A. V-R was suffering severe emotional pain and depression as a result of the bullying she was receiving at school,’ the suit states.
Mya Vizcarrondo: Dreams dashed. Why wasn’t the school there for her?
Then the morning of Feb. 28, 2018, Vizcarrondo had been forced to perform a sex act on two boys at school- only to find herself mercilessly teased after the incident by fellow classmates, according to the suit.
Unable to absorb yet another humiliation, the despondent child left school early and headed for her mother’s home. Her parents were unaware she had left the high school.
Still wearing her backpack, Vizcarrondo stepped over the ledge of the roof of her mother’s 34-story apartment building at 2:02 p.m. and was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital soon after.
The day after her suicide, the female student, Vivianna, was transferred out of Truman, according to the suit. The guidance counselor was fired soon after.
‘The tragic circumstances surrounding my client’s death could have been prevented,’ Scola said in a statement. ‘We hope that this case will cause the New York City Department of Education to reevaluate their policies and properly train their employees on issues related to bullying so that no student feels so hopeless they feel suicide is the answer. We hope that this case will prevent helpless students from taking their own lives in the future.’
‘This was a tragic loss, and students deserve safe and supportive school environments,’ said DOE spokesman Doug Cohen. ‘We recognize the deep impact bullying can have, and schools are required to immediately investigate and address any allegation.’
‘She was an honor roll student,’ Vizcarrondo’s father told via the nydailynews. ‘She had so many plans. She wanted to go to college.’
Reiterated the father, ‘It wasn’t like she was depressed all the time and didn’t care about anything.’
Adding, ‘She was just always there trying to help.’
Help that wasn’t afforded to her by the very people and institution that the victimized child should have felt comfortable believing and trusting would always be there for her. Until they weren’t….