A 13-year-old New York boy took his own life after suffering for years from what he described as vicious bullying by classmates at a private Catholic school, which authorities allegedly knew about and did nothing to stop, according to his devastated family.
Danny Fitzpatrick hanged himself in the attic of his Staten Island home on Thursday. He detailed the brutal treatment he allegedly suffered at Holy Angels Catholic Academy in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn in a note written several weeks before his death.
“They did it constantly,” Danny wrote. “I gave up the teachers … they didn’t do ANYTHING.”
The kind-hearted teen said he was constantly picked on for his weight and innocent nature but administrators at the Academy allegedly told the boy and his family that it would pass, his father said in an emotional Facebook video.
“He and I went to the school, went to the principal,” Daniel Fitzpatrick, Danny’s father, said. “All he got was ‘you’ll be fine,’ ‘is he in counseling?’ ‘You have to try harder, Danny.’ ‘I know I know, these things will pass.’ ‘Children can be such horrible creatures.’ They ain’t creatures, they’re monsters. Disgusting little monsters.”
The 45-year-old Con Edison worker tearfully addressed the parents of his dead child’s, saying: “All I have to say is I hope you never, 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 and the rest of their natural lives. I don’t get that anymore. Your little monsters took that from me and my wife and his sisters.
“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 under your b*******,” he said.
The Brooklyn Archdiocese takes bullying very seriously and everything that could have been done was done to help Danny, a spokeswoman told InsideEdition.com.
“Daniel’s complaints about bullying did not fall upon deaf ears,” spokeswoman Carolyn Erstad said in a statement. “Conflicts with other students were never ignored. The principal and teachers truly cared for Daniel and did everything in their power to help him. The school provided counseling for Daniel, suspended students accused of bullying him, and met with those students' parents.
"The principal also met, one-on-one, with every member of Daniel's class to work toward bullying prevention and conflict resolution," she continued. "NYPD officers were brought into the school to conduct a bullying prevention training program for teachers and parents as well 6th, 7th, and 8th grade classes."
Danny's parents allegedly chose to discontinue counseling Holy Angels Academy provided, Erstad said, noting that he attended the school until the fourth grade, when his family moved to Staten Island.
"After a year there, his parents asked for permission to re-enroll him in Holy Angels because they felt it was a healthier environment for him. The school accepted him back, because they wanted to help," Erstad said.
Rosemarie McGoldrick, principal of Holy Angels Academy, said in a letter to parents of children enrolled at the school: "I want parents to know that every reported incident of bullying at Holy Angels Catholic Academy is addressed thoughtfully and thoroughly. We remain committed to raising awareness about bullying and to training teachers, staff, parents and students on prevention."
Administrators are organizing a meeting where the community can ask questions and express their concerns, McGoldrick said. Grief counselors for the school's community will also be provided, she said.
"In addition to our most heartfelt prayers we will offer every resource available to Danny’s parents, our students, staff, and all of the families of Holy Angels Catholic Academy," she said.
"I continue to pray for Daniel and for his family as they cope with this unimaginable loss."
Five of Danny’s classmates were behind the bullying, he wrote in his letter. He took the relentless abuse to heart and his grades slipped.
“Danny was a kind, gentle little soul. He didn’t have a mean bone in his body,” Fitzpatrick said. “I have no words to describe the pain that I’m feeling right now.”
He warned would-be bullies of acting on their urges to pick on another person.
“If I ever see any goddamn child in my life from now on, and I witness and I see them getting bullied, doesn’t matter if its a boy, girl, straight, bi, whatever, transgender,” Fitzpatrick warned. “To the bully, I will knock you the f*** out. And how do you think it will make you feel?”
A GoFundMe page started by one of Danny’s sisters to give their loved one “a proper memorial, as well as shine a bright light on the bullying that killed him” had raised more than $62,000 in one day.
The page, which had an original goal of $10,000, struck a chord with many.
“I know what it feels like to lose a teen to suicide,” one person wrote.
“My heart breaks for your loss. I will pray for you. May your beautiful son rest in peace,” another commented.
The family thanked donors for their generosity, writing they planned to donate to an organization that fights bullying and encourages suicide awareness.
“I miss my son very much,” Fitzpatrick said. “No parent should have to bury their child. No child should have to go through what my son went through… Daniel, I love you so much … I will be counting the days until I get to see you again.”