Daniel Fitzpatrick, the Staten Island boy who took his on life on August 11 after being relentlessly bullied at school, was apparently afraid and angered by his mother’s drinking, the Administration of Children’s Services (ACS) states. The family attorney calls the claims ‘bogus’ and blames the school for twisting the boy’s words.
New York Daily News reports that Daniel, 13, was found in his family home basement with his belt wrapped around his neck. According to a letter he wrote in July, he was taunted and teased about his grades and weight by other students, while attending the Holy Angels Catholic Academy in Brooklyn. The bullying eventually led to him taking his own life.
It’s the adults who failed Daniel Fitzpatrick — and the kids who bullied him | New York Post https://t.co/tVGRsjaxTD— Bethany S. Mandel (@bethanyshondark) August 17, 2016
Apparently, the school may want his parents to share the blame. The following is according to a 2015 ACS report.
“Danny said mom being drunk affects him in everything and makes him angry. He said dad also drinks, but controls himself more than mom. Student can’t remember a time when mom was not drunk often… Danny denies suicidal thoughts, but feels angry, sad, has thoughts of wanting to run away. Mother is blaming his teachers for his failures and has written several accusatory letters to school. Student is afraid of both parents anger.”
The family’s attorney, Scott Rynecki, however, called the accusations “bogus,” and confirmed with the New York Police Department that there were no incidents of family violence or disputes reported from the home.
Additionally, Daniel’s letter, coupled with his sister’s statement regarding the severity of bullying he endured, tends to point more towards issues within the school than with his family life. The following is according to Daniel’s sister, Kristen Fitzpatrick, who also attended Holy Angels school.
“Danny was always left out. He used to come up to me and ask me to get kids to play with him. The other kids would say they thought he was weird.”
In his letter, Daniel pointed out that he was constantly bullied by five particular boys, but when he asked teachers to step in, they failed him.
“I gave up. The teachers… they didn’t do anything.”
The Washington Post reports that Rynecki stated that the school itself is trying to put the blame squarely on Daniel’s parents’ shoulders, in an attempt to hold itself less responsible, despite ACS confirming that “the report has been determined ‘unfounded.'”
“The belief is that the Catholic school themselves put in some sort of claim and spoke to the child and somehow twisted his claims. ACS issued a letter, which fully and completely exonerated the family.”
Regardless of whose to blame for Daniel’s death, his parents are understandably grieving for their son. His father, Daniel Fitzpatrick Sr., recently lashed out to the bullies’ parents in an emotional video that quickly went viral.
“To the parents of the boys that 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. You get to hold your children for the rest of your lives and their natural lives. I don’t get to do that anymore… Your little monsters took that from me and my wife and his sisters.”
On Wednesday, around 300 people filled Staten Island’s Sacred Heart Church for Daniel’s funeral. As a bagpipe let out a soft “Amazing Grace” melody, mourners hugged and shed tears while Daniel’s Boy Scouts troop saluted his casket as it entered the church. Maureen Fitzpatrick, Daniel’s mother, gave an emotional speech, perfectly summing up her son’s beautiful smile and infectious personality.
“From the moment Danny was born, he was the saving grace and light of our family. He was funny, handsome, gracious, kind. He had the most beautiful smile. Mommy loves you with all my heart and soul. I’ll see you later, and I thank God for giving me you.”
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