A grieving Brooklyn father whose son drowned during a field trip back in June is living with a constant reminder of his loss — because the teen's school won't stop calling to ask why the boy has been skipping class.
"I think, why are you calling, why are you telling me this," Jonas Pierre told the New York Daily News. "Don’t you know my son is dead?"
Jean Fritz Pierre passed away after a drowning accident while on a class trip to Bear Mountain State Park.
The 16-year-old was swimming with a friend in Hessian Lake — a body of water banned to swimmers that is also known as "Bloody Lake."
Park officials reportedly attempted to warn the students against swimming in the lake, and tried to call the teens out of the water, but Jean Fritz was soon pulled under and his lifeless body was found 50 minutes later.
Since that incident on June 24, Jonas says he receives regular calls from Prospect Heights' International High School complaining about his son's truancy.
"They called me for a meeting. It's one of those things you have every year, and this year you don't have it," he told DNAInfo New York. "[T]o be reminded of that hurts you."
Mayor Michael Bloomberg blamed the tragic mix-up on bureaucracy, saying, "We have a million, one hundred thousands kids, or something like that. I'm sure there are errors in the bureaucracy."
The Department of Education released its own apology, saying it was "checking all data systems to ensure that the family doesn’t receive these calls anymore."
Meanwhile, a report released by the New York City School District's Special Investigator absolved the DOE of blame in Jean Fritz's death.
For his part, Jonas maintains that a chaperon gave the boys permission to swim in the lake, and had been watching them from a boat for a time.
"You give me back my son dead and you say it's not your fault? It's insane!" said Jonas, who has filed a lawsuit against the city and the DOE seeking $5 million in damages for negligence.
[screengrab via News12]