A Brooklyn father who lost his teen son during a class trip says that he still receives calls from the school saying that the boy is skipping classes. Jonas Pierre of Prospect Heights has been grieving the loss of 16-year-old Jean Fritz, and says the calls from his deceased child’s school wear on him emotionally.
DNAInfo sat down with Pierre, who explained the nature of the calls from International High School in Prospect Heights. Instead of updating their records and seeing that Jean Fritz is dead, the school has instead continually slapped Pierre with a terrible reminder of the drowning death of his son while away on a school trip last June.
“It makes me very sad,” the grieving father said about the calls.
“They called me for a meeting. It’s one of those things you have every year, and this year you don’t have it — to be reminded of that hurts you,” he said.
Pierre’s son went on a field trip June 24 with the school to Bear Mountain. According to a New York City Department of Education report, the younger Pierre and a friend broke away from a larger group to swim in Hessian Lake. Unaware of the strong undertow, Pierre died at the lake. The report cleared the DOE of any wrongdoing in the boy’s death, but the Pierre family has filed a $5 million lawsuit.
“How is it not their fault?” Pierre said. “Where’s the teacher that was supposed to take care of the kids? The teacher didn’t take responsibility — he went to play like a teenager, that’s why my kid came back dead.”
Pierre filed the lawsuit this month, asking for damages relating to negligence, breach of duty and other charges.
See the following pages to see photos from the Pierre family.