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Parents of Connecticut 5-Year-Old Who Died on Playground Sue School, District

— April 9, 2023

Several students told teachers that 5-year-old Romeo Pierre-Louise had collapsed at recess. However, teachers ignored their concerns, believing that the boy was simply “playing dead.”

A recently filed lawsuit alleges that Connecticut teachers ignored a 5-year-old boy who died after collapsing at recess, believing that the child was simply “playing dead.”

According to The New York Post, the lawsuit was filed on behalf of the parents of Romeo Pierre-Louise, who died at Charter Oak International Academy in April of 2022.

The lawsuit, lodged in a West Hartford-based court, alleges that Pierre-Louise spent about 10 minutes on the ground—motionless—without receiving any medical attention.

While several teachers could see Pierre-Louise lying prone on the ground, they failed to intervene or investigate, believing that the boy was simply “playing dead.”

Several of the boy’s classmates, writes the New York Post, told teachers they believed that Pierre-Louise had been injured.

However, the teachers dismissed their concerns, allegedly because “playing dead” was—for some reason—a popular game played by Pierre-Louise’s classmates.

A police report confirmed that “playing dead” was, surprisingly, a game that children were known to play during recess.

Unfortunately, once Pierre-Louise’s teachers realized that he was actually in need of medical assistance, it was too late to save him.

Playground; image courtesy of cherylt23 via Pixabay,

A state medical coroner later ruled Pierre-Louise’s cause of death as a “cardiac channelopathy, brugada syndrome (scn5a variant).”

The boy was found to have to have died a “natural death,” with the state coroner finding no further investigation necessary.

The boy’s family, writes The New York Post, filed the wrongful death lawsuit exactly one year after the 5-year-old passed away.

Pierre-Louise’s mother, Chantel, said they hope that their lawsuit can help protect other families from tragedy.

“We know nothing will bring our son back. All we can do is keep his memory in our hearts and do what we can so this doesn’t happen to another child,” Romeo’s mother said during a candlelight vigil. “Listen to our children.”

Andy Morrow, the acting superintendent for West Hartford educational district, told the Hartford Courant that district officials continue to hold the memory of Pierre-Louise dear.

“This tragedy has deeply affected the Charter Oak International Academy community, and the school district continues to make grief support and emotional assistance available to any student or educator who needs it. Due to the pending legal claims, the school district will refrain from further comment,” Morrow said in a statement.

An attorney for the city’s board of education said that his clients cannot comment on pending litigation, but have extended their condolences to the family.


Conn. teachers thought 5-year-old boy who collapsed during recess was just ‘playing dead’: lawsuit

Parents sue school after teachers ‘ignored their son, 5, as he collapsed and lay dying in playground for NINE MINUTES because they thought he was playing game called “play dead”‘

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