The father of a 13-year-old from New York who took his own life has posted an emotional 18-minute video on Facebook slamming the parents’ of the students who bullied his son.
Daniel Fitzpatrick hanged himself in the attic of his family’s home in Staten Island, where he was found by his 17-year-old sister Kristen at 5:30pm on Thursday, reports the Daily Mail.
“I hope the memory of what you did to my son is burned in your memory for the rest of your life and you suffer as much as he has suffered under your bulls**t,” said his father, also named Daniel, in the video he posted to the social media site on Saturday.
“I have no words to describe the pain I am feeling right now. The parents of those boys, you know who you are, your boys know who you are, I know who you are – now the world knows what kind of people you are and what you will be.
“To the parents of the boys who tormented my son, all I have to say is I hope you never have to feel what my family is going through right now.
“You get to hold your children every night and day for the rest of your lives, I don’t get that anymore. Your little monsters took that from me, and my wife, and his sisters.”
The heartbroken father holds up a picture of his son, saying: “I don’t know what else to say, I miss my son. All I want is to hear him say "good morning dad” one more time, that way I can tell him ‘good morning, I love you,’” he said.
“I used to ask him ‘who loves you,’ he would always reply ‘you do’ – that was our thing.”
A family friend shared on Facebook a note Daniel wrote on June 30 about how his treatment at Holy Angels Catholic Academy left him feeling helpless.
“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.”
He then wrote about a fight he had with a former friend, which led to the other student being punished. The former friend blamed Daniel for getting in trouble, and the bullying worsened.
“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 [the student] 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.”
Daniel wrote that he was tormented by a group of five boys who bullied him relentlessly.
“They did it constantly,” he wrote. “I ended up fighting (one boy) and got a fractured pinkie.”
His parents said the boys targeted Daniel during gym class, often throwing balls at him. Daniel was desperately hoping to start at another school, Brooklyn's Xaverian High School, in the fall.
His mother, Maureen Fitzpatrick, said the school let down her son.
“Danny said that he was afraid of his teachers. He felt like the whole school knew what was going on and was laughing behind his back. They humiliated him,” she told the NYDN.
“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.
“No parent is supposed to bury their child.”
His parents told the New York Daily News that one of the teachers at the school called Daniel 'lazy' in front of the other pupils.
Daniel’s sister, Kristen, who also attended Holy Angels in Bay Ridge, said the teacher in question often made a deliberate effort to humiliate pupils and would even publicly display low test scores to shame those who did poorly.
“If one person didn’t like you, no one liked you,” she said. “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.”
The family claim they and Daniel tried to bring his concerns about the bullying directly to the school administrators but received no support.
On Friday, a spokeswoman for the Brooklyn/Queens Diocese would not confirm the bullying complaints.
“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.”
A GoFundME page has been created to help the family create a memorial fund.