Family: Bullying led teen to suicide
NEW YORK (FOX5NY) - Family members describe 13-year-old Daniel Fitzpatrick as a warm, kind and loving teenager. He was just a week away from his 14th birthday, but he'll never have the chance to celebrate.
Last week, one of Daniel's sisters found her younger brother hanging from a belt in the family's Staten Island home. The teen's distraught family believes it was the result of him being bullied at Holy Angels Catholic Academy in Brooklyn.
Daniel's parents say their son sat down last month to write a letter about his experiences. Daniel wrote about being bullied in school while his teachers turned a blind eye. The Fitzpatrick family says that before Daniel died, they were planning to send the letter to local elected officials to complain about what they claim was unfair treatment in school.
A spokesperson from the Diocese of Brooklyn says they're deeply saddened by this tragedy and that their hearts go out to Daniel's family. However, she says there was an anti-bullying program at the school and feels the school did everything in its power to help Daniel.
In reports out Thursday, there are claims that Daniel was struggling at home due to his parents drinking too much. But this grieving couple says these claims are false and were made by the school after they started complaining.
The city's Administration for Children's Services did visit the Fitzpatrick home last year, but sent them a letter afterwards. It states no evidence was found to suggest Daniel had been abused or maltreated in his home.
The family's attorney says they're considering a wrongful death action against the school, while the Fitzpatricks say they have no choice but to keep on living with a hole in their hearts.