The police have launched investigations into the death of a 12-year-old boy following reports of bullying at school. Haitian-born Romy Vilsaint died at a hospital Friday after he had complained to a family member of being punched by two students at school.
A fifth-grader at PS 361, Vilsaint’s family said he was often bullied at school. The week before his death, he was reportedly attacked twice in two days. In the first incident, which occurred on Wednesday, he was jumped by two kids at school, Vilsaint’s cousin, Roodwiny Exantus, said. The following day, he was hit in the head by a boy who was paid a dollar by another student to do so.
“He told me after he got punched in the head, he reported it to the teacher or the principal, I’m not sure which, and the teacher asked the kid, who said he got paid a dollar from this kid to do that,” Exantus said, according to FOX 8.
Vilsaint’s family said he spent part of Thursday in the school nurse’s office before staying home sick on Friday in their East Flatbush apartment. That Friday, he had a headache in the afternoon and started vomiting, his family said. He was transported to Kings County Hospital where he was pronounced dead. A city medical examiner will now determine his cause of death, FOX8 reported.
Vilsaint, born in Haiti, had moved to Brooklyn four years ago to live with his father, two sisters, and his cousin’s family. His mother and his other siblings are still in Haiti.
On Thursday when he was reportedly hit at school, he left his father a voicemail, saying someone hit him “real hard” in the back of the head and he has a “huge headache” as a result, New York Post reported.
“This is a horrible tragedy and our thoughts are with the family during this incredibly difficult time,” a spokesperson for the New York City Department of Education said Saturday in a statement. “The safety of our young people is our absolute priority and this incident will be thoroughly investigated and we are providing supports to both the family and school community.”