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Lawsuit Claims City Failed To Help Bullied Teen

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The family of a bullied teen who committed suicide is suing the city, the Board of Education and the children who allegedly picked on him.

According to the lawsuit, 12-year-old Joel Morales was bullied for two years before hanging himself in May 2012.

Morales' mother, Lisbeth Babilonia, says she complained multiple times to the Department of Education and filed a complaint with the New York City Police Department.

"He told me about it many times," Babilonia said through an interpreter. "I went to school and spoke with the teacher, spoke with the assistant principal, with the principal. We met many times, with the teachers, with everyone, even with the counselors, and nothing. Everything stayed the same. They did nothing."

"No one really could've said that they said they had helped because, I mean, he's still not here," said Richard Salazar, Joel's brother. "He's still missed by everyone, by the whole family, and the pain that everybody feels, can't no one really describe it."

Morales' family says the bullying took place at P.S. 102 in Manhattan.

The lawsuit alleges that the school held a meeting with the bullies' parents, but the children continued to harass Morales physically and verbally.

Morales transferred to nearby P.S. 57, but his family says the bullies still tormented him after school.

A representative from the city Law Department says the case involves "very tragic circumstances" but declined to comment further because of pending litigation.

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