Jean Fritz Pierre died in June, but his father recently received a phone call from the school he attended, asking why he had been absent for so long. Coincidentally, Pierre died during a school field trip.
"I think, why are you calling, why are you telling me this," Pierre's father, Jonas, told the New York Daily News. "Don't you know my son is dead? Maybe the school doesn't think it's important, but it's important to me. I don't think I could ever get another son like him."
Jean Fritz was on a school trip to Bear Mountain State Park and drowned in Hessian Lake. Authorities searched for his body for 50 minutes before locating it and bringing him back on ground. His father filed a lawsuit against the City and blames the school officials for "letting" his son near the water. However, an investigation this week cleared the Department of Education officials of any wrongdoing.
"We gathered evidence from many sources, including the New York State Park Police, the principal at International High School, chaperones, and students who attended the trip. The investigation did not find any misconduct or wrongdoing committed by a DOE employee," Richard Condon, Special Commissioner of Investigation for the New York City School District wrote in his report.
"There was nothing about swimming in the permission slip to go to the mountain," Jonas Pierre argued. "My son died in a place he was not supposed to be. If the paper had mentioned [the] ocean, I would not sign, but it said mountain," he told DNAinfo.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg blamed the mistaken phone call on the large number of students in the system.
"We have a million, one hundred thousand kids, or something like that. I'm sure there are errors in the bureaucracy," Bloomberg explained.
The Department of Education has assured Pierre that he will no longer receive phone calls about his late son.