School's Insensitive Gaffe in Teen Truancy Mix-Up Leaves Us Heartbroken for His Dad

Talk about your ‘whoops’ moments. Someone from a Prospect Heights International High School in Brooklyn called the father of a truant student to ask what was up with his abysmal attendance record. 16-year-old Jean Fritz Pierre drowned on a class trip last June.

Not only that, but Jean’s grief-stricken dad filed a $5 million suit against the city earlier this month over his son’s death. Jonas Pierre said the call broke his heart all over again. “I think, why are you calling, why are you telling me this,” he said. “Don’t you know my son is dead?”


Last June, Jean Fritz was one of 48 students on a field trip to Rockland County’s Bear Mountain State Park to celebrate the end of the school year. Along with a friend, he decided to cool down in Hessian Lake, even though swimming is banned there because of deep underwater pits.

The teens were asked four times by park officials that spotted them to return to land, but Jean Fritz disappeared under the water. They found his body after a 50-minute search, and cops say the cause of death was accidental drowning. School staffers were cleared of any wrongdoing this week by city investigators, but Pierre still blames them.

How could this slip through the cracks? Don’t you think there should be a memo or something to all school staff about the devastated dad of the deceased teen that blames the school and is suing for $5 million dollars? It seems like this was just a horribly tragic accident, but this dad should be treated with kid gloves as he grieves the death of his only son.

The Education Department issued an official apology and said they would make sure that Pierre doesn’t receive any more phone calls about his son’s lack of school attendance.

Do you think the school's official apology is enough?


Image via Ken Shelton/Flickr

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