NEW YORK — A 13-year-old boy from Staten Island committed suicide Thursday after being overwhelmed by bullying by classmates in an ordeal he detailed in a heartbreaking letter to planned to send to school officials.
Danny Fitzpatrick attended Holy Angels Catholic School in Brooklyn, where classmates harassed him about his weight and grades, the New York Daily News reported. He wrote that his teachers did not do much to protect him from the abuse.
The Daily news said the boy hanged himself in the family’s Staten Island home. He was found by his sister in the attic with a belt wrapped around his neck.
In July, the boy wrote a letter detailing what he was going through. He planned to send it to the school to hold the teachers and principal accountable by allowing the attacks to continue.
“I am writing this letter to tell about my experience in Holy Angels Catholic Academy,” it began. “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.”
He then wrote how a group of boys bullied him and he fought one of them. Still, the bullying continued, he wrote. Teachers wouldn’t help him except one, who “did something, but it didn’t last.”
“I wanted to get out. I begged and pleaded eventually I did get I failed but I didn’t care. I was out that’s all I wanted,” he wrote.
The boy’s family said they told school administrators about the bullying, but nothing was done to help.
His father, Daniel Fitzpatrick, said in a Facebook Live video posted Saturday that the family went to the school’s principal and was told, “He’ll 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 the meeting.
A spokesman for the Brooklyn/Queens Diocese would not confirm the bullying allegations. She did say this to The New York Daily News:
“In light of this tragedy we are re-examining all bullying prevention policies and training.,” a spokesperson for the Brooklyn/Queens Diocese told the Daily News. “The principal, teachers and staff of Holy Angels Catholic Academy are heartbroken over the loss of Danny Fitzpatrick. We take the issue of bullying very seriously and address every incident that is brought to our attention.”
“I miss my son very much,” his father said in the Facebook Live post as he held back tears. “No parent should have to bury their child. No child should have to go through what my son went through.”
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help pay for funeral expenses.