• Nate Bronstein died by suicide on Jan. 13 after allegedly getting bullied by his schoolmates at Latin School of Chicago
  • He and his mother sent several complaints to the school in the months leading to the death, but the school "turned a blind eye" 
  • Bronstein's family is seeking at least $400,050,000 in damages from the school, its officials, his schoomates and their parents/guardians

A 15-year-old high school boy in Illinois died by suicide at the start of the year after getting bullied by his schoolmates, court documents showed.

Nate Bronstein was found hanging from a shower head in the bathroom of his home on Jan. 13, CBS News reported, citing a 68-page complaint filed in the Circuit Court of Cook County Monday.

The teen, a 10th grader at Latin School of Chicago in the Gold Coast, was bullied by his schoolmates and was the victim of "targeted harassment" from both his teachers and fellow students, the lawsuit alleged.

Among the messages Bronstein received was one from a member of the school's basketball team that encouraged the teen to kill himself, according to the complaint.

Several students also reportedly bullied Bronstein via a text message thread; others bullied him on the social media platform Snapchat, where the teen was encouraged to end his own life.

In the months leading to his death, both Bronstein and his mother, Rosellene Bronstein, sent complaints to administrators and teachers at Latin School of Chicago, including 9th and 10th grade Dean of Students Bridget Hennessy, according to the suit.

Nate met with Hennessy on Dec. 13 to report the abuses he experienced, but the official allegedly took no disciplinary action.

The teen's parents were only informed of the meeting after his death, despite the school being required to report the encounter under Illinois' General Assembly Public Act 098-0669.

"Instead of taking ordinary and reasonable steps to investigate and to protect [Nate] in accordance with the school's known anti-bullying policies and ostensible ‘zero tolerance policy’ on hate speech, as well as Illinois law, teachers and officials at Latin willfully turned a blind eye to [Nate's] and [Rosellene's] urgent and increasingly desperate pleas for help," the complaint read.

Additionally, teachers and officials at the school allegedly "disregarded and intentionally refused to acknowledge [Nate's] status as a victim" even as the school showed an "outside appearance of supporting victims of bullying and public pledges to end hate speech and harassment."

"We would have known, and we would have protected him, and he'd still be here today," Rosellene was quoted as saying by CBS.

All of the named Latin School of Chicago defendants have been sued collectively for $200,000,000 over a count each of wrongful death and survival action/intentional infliction of emotional distress.

The Bronstein family sought an excess of $50,000 from the school over alleged breaches of contract.

The minor defendants and their parents and/or guardians were sued collectively for $100,000,000 over a separate count of survival action/intentional infliction of emotional distress.

A negligent infliction of emotional distress count against only the minors' parents and/or guardians also sought for an additional $100,000,000 in damages.

The Bronsteins also asked for "the maximum award permitted under Illinois law" from the parents and/or guardians under the Parental Responsibility Law.

Overall, the deceased teen's family is seeking at least $400,050,000 in damages.

They reportedly pledged to donate any money gained through legal proceedings to anti-bullying and anti-suicide charities.

The family claimed they spoke out because remaining silent would disrespect their son's memory, and they hoped they could give other parents the chance to step in.

"[I]f this can be allowed to just be swept under the rug, then it's going to happen again — and we're not going to be complicit in that," Robert said.

Latin School of Chicago issued a statement late Monday in response to the lawsuit.

"Our school community deeply grieves the tragic and untimely passing of one its students. It is a loss that impacts our whole community. Our hearts go out to the family, and we wish them healing and peace. With respect to their lawsuit, however, the allegations of wrongdoing by the school officials are inaccurate and misplaced. The school's faculty and staff are compassionate people who put students' interests first, as they did in this instance. While we are not, at this time, going to comment on any specific allegation in this difficult matter, the school will vigorously defend itself, its faculty and its staff against these unfounded claims," the statement read.

If you have thoughts of suicide, confidential help is available for free at the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Call 1-800-273-8255. The line is available 24 hours, every day.

Representation. Nate Bronstein, 15, was allegedly bullied by his schoolmates and was the victim of "targeted harassment" from both his teachers and fellow students. Wokandapix/Pixabay