A 13-year-old's suicide letter reveals that officials at the Catholic Academy he was attending knew he was being bullied, but did nothing to intervene.
Did you know? More teenagers and young adults die from suicide than from cancer, heart disease, AIDS, birth defects, stroke, pneumonia, influenza and chronic lung disease combined. While there are almost always warning signs a teen might be contemplating suicide, it is not unusual for adults to miss them.
Unfortunately, this was the case with a 13-year-old teen named Daniel Fitzpatrick who took his own life earlier this month after being taunted and bullied over his “weight, grades, and his innocent heart.” His dad posted on Facebook that bullies played a big part in him choosing to kill himself, and the most heartbreaking aspect of the ordeal is that the Holy Angels Catholic Academy knew about the taunting, yet did nothing about it.
To prompt schools to take bullying seriously, the heartbroken father posted the heart-wrenching note his son wrote before taking his life.
A transcript, courtesy of Distractify, follows:
“At first it was good. Lots of friends, good grades and a great life, but I moved and went back and it was different,” Daniel wrote.
“My old friends changed, they didn’t talk to me, they didn’t even like me.”
“My ‘friend,’ he failed me and I failed too. But A took it out on me. He bullied me along with J, M, JO, and JA. They did it constantly until I went into a fight with A. Everyone stopped except JO, he was angry.”
“I ended up getting x-rays for my pinkie from JO. I ended up fighting Jo and got a fractured pinkie. He got into a lot of trouble as for me, no trouble at all.”
“But they continued, I gave up, the teachers either they didn’t do anything! Not get them in trouble even though they did trouble, I got in trouble instead because A was mad at me because he believed I failed him.”
“I told all the teachers nothing except one… she was the nicest teacher ever she understood and did something but it didn’t last long.”
“I wanted to get out, I begged and I pleaded. Eventually I did, I failed but I didn’t care. I was out that’s all I wanted.”
Fortunately, the tragedy did result in positive change. A spokesman for Brooklyn / Queens school district told the Daily News:
“In light of this tragedy we are reexamining all bullying prevention policies and training. 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.”
In addition, activists have helped raise over $100,000 with a GoFundMe campaign to give Daniel a memorial.
Children and teens need to be educated on the implications bullying has, as well as know that they are never alone if they are being teased or ridiculed. It’s unacceptable that suicide is the second leading cause of death for youth aged 12 – 18.
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