*He tried to get their attention, to let them know what he was going through. He wanted the teachers at Holy Angels Catholic Academy to know about the constant, merciless bullying he had to endure by five boys who used to be his friends. But 13-year-old Danny Fitzpatrick said the teachers “Didn’t do ANYTHING.” So the Staten Island boy with a smile that we now know hid a lot of pain, had enough and chose the only way out he could manage…
Danny, who was found by his 17-year-old sister, Kristen, with a belt around his neck, in the attic of his family’s home last Thursday, left a detailed letter that will break your heart (scroll down). The letter had actually been written last month, after the school recommended Danny should “repeat seventh grade at another school.” But the letter stayed with Danny.
According to the Daily News (Scroll down for video report), who was granted an exclusive interview with the family the morning after their son was found, Danny is said to have written, “I gave up,” on two sides of a single sheet of paper. “The teachers . . . they didn’t do anything,” he said, obviously beyond distraught.
The family shared the letter with The News.
In a 17-minute video, Danny’s father, Daniel Fitzpatrick, said through tears, “My son’s story is out there for the world to see. The pain that he went through. I miss my son very much. No parent should have to bury their child. No child should have to go through what my son went through.”
The clearly devastated father continues…
“What they put in the paper is true. It’s in our own words, his words I should say.
The shame of it all is that there are stories out there that speak of how heartbroken the staff at the school is. While I don’t doubt this is true, Danny’s letter only speaks of one teacher who helped him; but says even this help was not lasting.
According to the Daily News article…
Alexa d’Alora, an English and religious studies teacher at the school who was also Daniel’s homeroom teacher, declined to speak when reached by The News.
“Please. Please. This is hard,” she said before turning away and walking to her car.
A spokeswoman for the Brooklyn/Queens Diocese could not confirm the bullying complaints Friday.
“In light of this tragedy we are reexamining all bullying prevention policies and training,” spokeswoman Carolyn Erstad said. “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.”
Yet Danny’s father Daniel, in his video, speaks differently on this point. He says he went to the school principal WITH his son, and at one point, relays exactly what happened.
“He and I went to the school, went to the principal. All we got, all he got was, ‘He’ll be fine. He just needs counseling. You have to try harder Danny.”
HE has to try harder????
“Oh I know, I know, these things will pass,” his dad mimics in the condescending baby-voice so many adults use when speaking to kids. “Children can be such horrible creatures,” dad continues to mock the school principal at a meeting with himself and Danny.
They ain’t creatures, they’re monsters! Disgusting little monsters! Fitzpatrick says in anger. “And to the parents of the boys who tormented my son, all I have to say is that I hope you never, NEVER have to feel what my family is going through right now.
And to the bully’s, he says…
“I hope the memory of what you’ve done to my son is burned in your brain for the rest of your life and you suffer as much as he has suffered under your bulls–t,” dad Daniel Fitzpatrick said as he wiped away tears.
Nevertheless, Daniel senior, a 45-year-old Con Ed technician, has come straight up gangsta words for “anyone he sees being a bully” from this day forward:
“If I ever see any goddamn child in my life from now on, and I witness and I see them getting bullied, doesn’t matter if its a boy, girl, straight, bi, whatever, transgender,” Fitzpatrick warned. “To the bully, I will knock you the f–k out. And how do you think it will make you feel?”
Danny’s oldest sister, Eileen Fitzpatrick, set up a GoFundMe page to help with funeral expenses for their loved one. To date the campaign has raised $97,430 of its $10,000 goal. The family is so surprised and overwhelmed by everyone’s generosity, saying,
We had NO idea we would go past our goal and recieve [sic]so much feedback. With all these responses and support we would love nothing more than to donate to a organization that fights bullying and encourages suicide awareness. We have not chosen any yet, seeing as we are still dealing with preperations [sic] for my brother. We have every intention to help other families never go through what we are going through. We want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for helping us and hearing his story.
See Danny’s heartbreaking letter below.
Rest in peace, sweet Daniel