At Holy Angels Catholic Academy in Brooklyn, Daniel Fitzpatrick’s biggest exam had zero to do with academics.
The 13-year-old seventh-grader — like so many immature people in schools opposite a nation — was a aim of relentless bullying given of his grades, his weight and his honeyed disposition, family members told a New York Daily News.
This summer, Daniel minute some of his toughest struggles in a minute that indicted classmates of branch on him — and school officials of ignoring his pleas for help.
Then, only days before his 14th birthday, he motionless he’d had enough. On Thursday, he wrapped a belt around his neck and hung himself inside a integument of his family’s Staten Island home.
“I gave up,” he wrote in a minute that preceded his genocide by several weeks. “The teachers . . . they didn’t do anything.”
Documents performed by The Washington Post offer a some-more difficult design of Daniel’s life and exhibit that some trust the teenager’s struggles extended beyond the bullying he faced during school.
The boy’s father, also named Daniel Fitzpatrick, told a Daily News that he had been during contingency with Holy Angels ever given officials there endorsed that Daniel repeat a seventh category during another school. The idea was offensive, Fitzpatrick told a paper, given he attributed Daniel’s educational struggles to a bloody bullying he suffered, observant that a boy’s “confidence was totally shattered.”
In his minute documenting a abuse, Daniel wrote that he was bullied by a organisation of 5 boys during a school. “They did it constantly,” he wrote. “I finished adult fighting (one boy) and got a fractured pinkie.”
In a statement, Carolyn Erstad, a mouthpiece for a Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn, pronounced that “the principal and teachers during Holy Angels are unhappy over the death of Daniel Fitzpatrick. I’ve oral with them during length and can tell we that they truly cared for Danny and trust they did their best to assistance him.
“That said, we are examining each occurrence that has transpired and evaluating each aspect of propagandize policy.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention labels bullying a form of “youth violence.”
Following a 2013 survey, a CDC pronounced that 20 percent of high propagandize students reported being bullied on propagandize property. An estimated 15 percent reported carrying been bullied electronically in a 12 months before a survey.
Victims face an increasing risk of “depression, anxiety, nap difficulties, and bad propagandize adjustment,” a CDC reported.
Last fall, in a news filed with New York City’s Administration of Children’s Services and performed by The Post, an questioner wrote that Daniel was unwell his classes and enchanting in indignant outbursts in class.
“Danny pronounced mom being dipsomaniac affects him in all and creates him angry,” a news stated. “He pronounced father also drinks, though controls himself some-more than mom. Student can’t remember a time when mom was not dipsomaniac often.”
The news continued:
Danny denies earthy abuse by mom and dad, though says Kristen, his comparison sister, hides him in a integument or his room when mom is drunk. He says his father and Kristen protect him.”
Danny denies suicidal thoughts, though feels angry, sad, has thoughts of wanting to run away. Mother is blaming his teachers for his failures and has created several accusatory letters to school. Student is fearful of both relatives anger.
Asked to criticism on a papers filed with a children’s services agency, Scott Rynecki, a counsel representing a Fitzpatrick family, told The Post that they are partial of a incomparable bid to disprove families that benefaction problems for Holy Angels Catholic Academy.
To accelerate his claim, Rynecki presented The Post with a minute from a New York State Office of Children and Family Services, that oversees a city agency, addressed to Daniel’s mother, Maureen Fitzpatrick.
The minute states that internal child protecting use found “no convincing evidence” to trust “that a child(ren) has been abused or maltreated.”
“Therefore,” a minute continues, “the news has been dynamic ‘unfounded.’”
“The belief is that a Catholic propagandize themselves put in some arrange of explain and spoke to a child and somehow disfigured his claims,” Rynecki told The Post. “ACS released a letter, that entirely and totally vindicated a family.”
Calls to ACS seeking criticism were not immediately returned.
Reached by email, an NYPD orator pronounced there had been “no domestic associated incidents” during a family’s Staten Island chateau “going behind to Jan of 2015.”
Erstad, a mouthpiece for a Brooklyn diocese, declined to criticism on a documents.
But she told The Post that underneath state guidelines, a propagandize superintendence advisor was authorised to accommodate with Daniel adult to 3 times before requiring agree from his relatives for some-more meetings.
A advisor met with Daniel, though his parents declined to give agree for serve meetings, a parish mouthpiece said.
Rynecki, a family attorney, told The Post that Daniel’s genocide was a “tragic conditions that should never have occurred.” His firm, he said, is deliberation a probable prejudicial genocide lawsuit opposite a propagandize for unwell to have “a correct bullying impediment program.”
If there wasn’t such a program, he pronounced — or if there was, though it wasn’t implemented reasonably — “we intend to reason them accountable for a detriment of this immature life.”
Academy officials contend a propagandize has a impediment module that trains teachers to commend signs of bullying and to meddle in a constructive manner. The academy’s teachers have undergone dual sessions of a training, that lasts one to dual days in new years, officials said. The training is formed on a Olweus bullying impediment program.
Regardless of what competence have pushed Daniel to suicide, a strenuous greeting to his genocide has been one of sympathy: As seen in messages opposite a internet, he has turn something of a martyr, his cherubic face a honest sign of bullying’s comfortless toll.
“R.I.P. small angel, your pang is now over and we are resting in a arms of amatory angels,” Barbara Chandler of Illinois wrote in an online guest book on a Harmon Funeral Home website. “I am all too informed with bullying and what it can do. My son was bullied terribly that led to drug abuse that led to an overdose. It will be 3 years 8/19/16.”
“In 2009, my pleasing son Mark also died by suicide,” Nancy Tutz, from New Jersey, added. “Mark was really most like Danny — a gentle, kind essence with a golden heart. we mount with we and guarantee in respect of Danny and Mark, to never mount by and concede anyone to be bullied in my presence.”
Daniel’s wake is scheduled for Wednesday at Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church in Staten Island. A GoFundMe page that directed to lift $10,000 for his commemorative has lifted some-more than $120,000.
After his son’s death, Fitzpatrick posted a array of distressing videos on Facebook, castigating his son’s tormentors and enlivening other victims of bullying to sojourn strong. He referred to Daniel as a “gentle small soul” who “didn’t have a meant bone in his body.”
“To a relatives of a boys that worried my son, all we have to contend is that we wish we never never have to feel what my family is going by right now,” Fitzpatrick, a 45-year-old worker during a electric association Con Edison, pronounced in one video. “You get to reason your children for a rest of your lives and their healthy lives. we don’t get to do that anymore.
“Your small monsters took that from me and my mother and his sisters.”
The father added: “I wish a memory of what we did to my son is burnt in your mind for a rest of your life and we humour as most as he suffered.”
Two days later, a weeping Fitzpatrick struck a some-more enlivening tone. Perhaps, he said, he competence strech immature people considering suicide.
“The choice that my child done is an answer, though it’s not a right answer,” he said. “Don’t let anybody debase we given of a approach we look, a approach we feel — we matter. You do matter.
“And I’ll tell we honestly, we matter to me and we matter to my son.”
Fitzpatrick pronounced a family had been overwhelmed by a escape of support they’d perceived from people all over a world. There were so many messages that they wouldn’t be means to respond to all of them, he pronounced apologetically.
Every child is placed on Earth for a purpose, and his child was no different, he said: While acknowledging he was struggling to accept it, Fitzpatrick pragmatic his son’s purpose was to learn others about bullying.
Still, Fitzpatrick said, there was no satisfaction for his family’s towering grief — a wound so low and unpleasant that he pronounced he wouldn’t “wish it on his misfortune enemy.”
“He was my life,” Fitzpatrick said. “He was my love. And he still is my love. I’m going to lift that on for a rest of my life.”
He added: “I am propitious to have had in my life.”