Only a few weeks shy from turning 14, Daniel Joseph Fitzpatrick did something drastic that would forever alter the lives of those around him. He killed himself. (letter)
It was his sister, 17-year-old Kristen, who found him. He was hanging by his own belt. Parents Maureen and Daniel Sr. , were naturally overwhelmed with grief and misery. Nevertheless, they wanted to share this story. Turns out, young Daniel was constantly harassed, and this was apparently the only way he felt he could escape the pain.
The teenager composed a multi-paged suicide take note of that his folks chose to distribute.
He depicts how his 6th grade classmates and previous friends at his Catholic school abruptly betrayed him and how he had been subjected to every day harassing assaults:
“… Anthony took it all out on me. He bullied me along with John, Marco, Jose, and Jack they did it constantly until I went into a fight with Anthony everyone stopped except John he was angry…
I ended up fighting John and got a fractured pinkie,” Daniel, also known as Danny, wrote that they teased him because of his weight, his grades, because he wasn’t as “tough” as the other boys. “I gave up. The teachers either didn’t do ANYTHING.”
“My son’s story is now out there for the world to see and for the world to know the pain that he went through,” said Daniel’s father in a voice hoarse with emotion in an 18-minute video he posted on Facebook. “No child should have to go through what my son went through.”
In the poignant recording, the mechanic also explained the he and his wife didn’t feel the school treated their concerns seriously when they took Danny’s troubles to the principal. “All I got was and all HE got was, ‘He’ll be fine. Is he in counselling?
You have to try harder, Danny. These things will pass.”
Daniel Sr. also had strong words for the parents of the boys Danny named in his suicide note: “You get to hold your children every night and every day for the rest of your lives and their natural lives.
I don’t get that anymore. Your little monsters took that from me. And my wife. And his sisters. Danny was a kind, gentle little soul. He didn’t have a mean bone in his body…
I just want to hear him say, ‘good morning, dad’ one more time and that way I could tell him ‘good morning’ and ‘I love you,’ which I did every every day.” (letter)
Hopefully the publishing of Daniel’s letter will bring attention to this serious problem of bullying and how it can have dire results when kids feel they have no other way out. They feel the only way to escape the torment is taking their own lives.