A 13 year old boy from Staten Island, NY, committed suicide Thursday. He was said to be overwhelmed and exhausted from repeated bullying by his peers in school. Danny Fitzpatrick wrote a detailed and sad suicide note that was intended for school officials.
NY Daily News is reporting that the 13 year old was a student at Holy Angels Catholic School in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, where he was harassed daily by classmates. When he brought the bullying to his teacher’s attention, Daniel says that no one came to his rescue. Only one teacher listened, but it did nothing to stop the attacks.
Fitzpatrick’s dad said in a Facebook Live video posted on Saturday that the family went to the principal who assured him and his wife that Daniel would be fine.
“You have to try harder Danny. Oh, I know, I know, these things will pass. Children can be such horrible creatures,” Fitzpatrick said the principal told him during that meeting.
But things didn’t get better for the young teen who wrote a suicide letter as his last resort because he felt helpless and could not see a light at the end of the tunnel.
Fitzpatrick wrote the letter in July, detailing his bullying ordeal. He intended to send it to the school to hold the teachers and principal accountable for allowing the continuous attacks to happen.
“I am writing this letter to tell about my experience in Holy Angels Catholic Academy, At first it was good…lots of friends, good grades and great life. But I moved and went back but it was different. My old friends changed they didn’t talk to me they didn’t even like me.”
Fitzpatrick said when he began the sixth grade, a boy who was previously his friend, began to bully him. Then four other students joined in and “they did it constantly until I went into a fight.”
“But they continued. I gave up. The teachers either they didn’t do anything! Not get them in trouble even though they didn’t get into trouble, I got in trouble instead,” Fitzpatrick wrote in the letter.
He said eventually one teacher did step up to help, but “it didn’t last long.”
“I wanted to get out. I begged and pleaded, I failed, but I didn’t care, I was out, that’s all [I] wanted,” he wrote at the end.
Daniel Fitzpatrick hung himself at his parents home in Staten Island Thursday. His body was found by one of his sisters.
“I don’t know why I missed this, why didn’t I save my son,” Maureen Fitzpatrick told reporters “He was supposed to be sitting here on the couch, telling the story alive, not dead.They followed him after school and taunted him, and called him baby, They said, ‘come let’s fight,’ and my son wasn’t a fighter. My son just wanted some friends. He needed a friend. Even one friend, I think he would have been OK.”
The letter has not been sent to officials as of Friday, but was posted by family and friends on social media. Fitzpatrick was due to start eighth grade at the Sacred Heart School this Fall. The family told the Daily News that Holy Angels Catholic School had recommended their son transfer to another school so he can repeat seventh grade.
Carolyn Erstad, a spokesperson for the Brooklyn diocese, said that under state guidelines, a school guidance counselor was allowed to meet with Danny three times before requiring consent from his parents for more meetings.
A counselor did meet with Danny three times and at that point, Erstad said, reached out to his parents, who declined to give consent for further meetings.
“I spoke at length with the school principal, with one of Danny’s teachers,” Erstad said. They loved Danny. They cared about this young boy, and they sincerely believe they did everything in their power to help him.” The Fitzpatricks said they sought professional help for their son instead.
Our condolences are with the Fitzpatrick family during this difficult time.