"The principal, teachers, and staff of Holy Angels Catholic Academy are heartbroken over the loss of Danny Fitzpatrick," she said, according to the New York Daily News. "We take the issue of bullying very seriously and address every incident that is brought to our attention."
Erstad said the diocese is reexamining all bullying prevention policies and training. Teachers at the school have undergone comprehensive anti-bullying training and intervened in any conflict between the boy and other students, a diocesan spokesperson told the Tablet. The school disciplined anyone involved in bullying and the school invited police to discuss bullying before classes, including Daniel's.
The 13-year-old killed himself in the attic of his family's home on Aug. 11. Several weeks before, he wrote a letter saying "I gave up." His letter charged that the teachers "didn't do anything." He said he was bullied "constantly" by five boys at school and his fight with one of them caused a fractured pinkie finger. Family members of the boy said he was the target of perpetual bullying at school.
"My son shouldn't have to die to be heard," his mother Maureen Fitzpatrick told the New York Daily News. "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."
Family members, including a sister who attended the same school alleged that a teacher at the school known for humiliating students called Daniel "lazy" and would display students' scores to embarrass those who behaved poorly.
The Washington Post says it obtained a report filed in fall 2015 with New York City's Administration of Children's Services from an investigator who said Daniel was failing his classes and engaged in angry outbursts.