Daniel Fitzpatrick’s short life ended in tragedy last Thursday when the 13-year-old from Staten Island committed suicide in the attic of his home. Reportedly, the young teen left behind a suicide note to explain to his family the circumstances in his life that led him to believe that his death was the only way to put an end to his pain.
The note was written a few weeks before his death. In it, Daniel Fitzpatrick told his family that he committed suicide because of the continual bullying he had been enduring at his school, Holy Angels Catholic Academy in Brooklyn. According to Daniel, what had once been a great life turned into a nightmare because of the constant bullying he suffered at the hands of five of his classmates.
As Fox News reports, Daniel Fitzpatrick’s suicide came after months of bullying, which the young teen claimed to have reported to teachers who largely refused to intervene. In Daniel’s suicide letter, he told his family that only a single teacher was willing to do anything to help him, and even then the bullying didn’t stop for very long.
A 13 year old's suicide note. RIP Daniel Fitzpatrick. Suicide should never be anyone's answer. pic.twitter.com/hWNYVfdMEX— Ajoké (@omoni_sola) August 15, 2016
Daniel Fitzpatrick’s suicide was discovered by his older sister, only 17-years-old herself. Apparently, she’d gone to check on her brother in the attic of the family home and found him dead, hanged by a belt around his neck.
Daniel Fitzpatrick wrote his suicide note nearly four weeks prior to taking his own life, and he did so for a very troubling reason. The 13-year-old wanted someone to be held accountable for the devastating turn his life had taken because of being incessantly bullied and because, according to Daniel, the adults at his school refused to put a stop to the bullying.
According to Daniel Fitzpatrick’s loved ones, the formerly good student had suffered from some recent academic changes that had resulted in the middle school student having to repeat the seventh grade. His parents told the media that Daniel Fitzpatrick committed suicide before he would have had to begin the seventh grade for the second time at a different school.
Reportedly, Daniel’s failing grades were a direct result of the bullying he was suffering at school
Instead of helping, the school responded by saying "You'll be fine, these things will pass".— Chelsea (@GigiHadidCanada) August 14, 2016
When a child comes to you and PLEADS for help from bullies, HELP THEM. DO SOMETHING. @StopBullyingGov R.I.P. Daniel Fitzpatrick— Stephanie Andersen (@songbird151) August 14, 2016
Daniel’s heartbroken family have turned to the media and to social media to share the story of their son’s bullying and suicide. His mother, Maureen Fitzpatrick, gave a scathing statement to the media. She condemned the school’s lack of response to her son’s bullying situation and lamented that Daniel Fitzpatrick felt that his situation would only get adequate attention if he committed suicide.
“My son shouldn’t have to die to be heard. There’s something wrong with the adults in authority positions when kids can’t go to them for help.”
Daniel Fitzpatrick’s father took another tact when it came to talking to the world about his son’s suicide. He opted to post a heartbreaking video to Facebook, and in it, he thanked the world for their love and support and discussed the horror of son Daniel Fitzpatrick’s devastating, bullying-related suicide.
Daniel Fitzpatrick’s dad also used his social media exposure to censure the parents of the boys that bullied his son to the point that he committed suicide. In the full 20-minute-long video, which can be seen here, Daniel Fitzpatrick’s dad speaks directly of the boys that bullied his son to death, calling them “monsters,” reports SILive.
“They’re monsters.. disgusting little monsters.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. Danny was a kind, gentle, little soul. He didn’t have a mean bone in his body.”
The suicide of Daniel Fitzpatrick has sparked both public outrage and a discussion about the epidemic of bullying in American schools. People are particularly shocked and appalled that his school, Holy Angels Catholic Academy, reportedly took no action to protect Daniel from the constant bullying he endured. The Catholic Church, however, claims that the school did try to help Daniel.
This is Daniel Fitzpatrick, 13. Peer abuse drove him to commit suicide. Help stop bullying in our schools! pic.twitter.com/jqkhtfdaeN— The Marchioness (@previouslife17) August 14, 2016
According to a representative from the Brooklyn Archdiocese, the school’s teachers and administration are “heartbroken” over the suicide of Daniel Fitzpatrick, but she claims that the school “helped Daniel the best it could.” She also said that Daniel had regular meetings with his guidance counselor.
She didn’t mention whether or not the boys who bullied Daniel Fitzpatrick to the point of suicide had ever been punished or if the Catholic school simply focused all of its intervention efforts on counseling Daniel, the bullying victim.
Bullying has become and epidemic in the United States, and Daniel Fitzpatrick’s suicide underscores the problems students and their parents deal with at back-to-school time every year. Experts have compiled a list of signs that could indicate your child is being bullied and tips for how to handle the situation to help prevent tragedies of their own.
Reportedly, the suicide of Daniel Fitzpatrick was only one of three to take place in the local area in the last week.
[Image via Fitzpatrick Family/Facebook]