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School to Dad: Dead Son Not in Class

Father says officials from Prospect Heights' International High School call him to complain of son's attendance record months after the boy drowned upstate.

Jonas Pierre said officials from Prospect Heights' International High School have called him to complain of his son's attendance record months after the boy drowned upstate.

The Prospect Heights dad this week said he is receiving calls from the school claiming his son Jean Fritz Pierre has missed too many classes. His son died four months ago in a school trip upstate.

According to DNA Info, Pierre said the calls are hard to bear.

The stinging calls come after the state this week found the school was not at fault in the drowning death of 16-year old Jean Fritz last June. Investigators say teachers warned the boy not to enter a lake during their class trip in the wilderness near Bear Mountain in upstate New York.

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Red Sam Rackham September 29, 2013 at 11:48 AM
This not about whether or not the school is responsible for the tragedy; it's about a truancy letter being sent months after the death.
Mindy Davis September 29, 2013 at 11:52 AM
Wow Ken-just wow. Obviously this is a computer that was never updated. I'm sure nobody wants it corrected faster than that school-it's mortifying. I don't know how much experience you've had with 16 yr old boys, but they will do what they want to do regardless of sensibility. It could even have been a dare. None of this matters now-a family is grieving the loss of a child, and my heart aches for them.
Kai September 29, 2013 at 12:30 PM
Incompetence, MISCOMMUNICATION and NO COMMUNICATION. This dilemma is way too prevalent and intrusive in this country, causing significant difficulties nation wide. No one is over seeing anyone or anything unless however, it is to harass people about debts.
David Pawson September 29, 2013 at 01:40 PM
What does this mean? "According to DNA Info, Pierre said the calls are hard the bear."
Ken Briggs September 29, 2013 at 02:04 PM
Red Sam Rackham yes some bullies may have threw him in the water and the teachers were not around to see or give a damn what was going on in back . so when did the teachers find out he was missing ? and why did the school not know he was dead when they called the parents up ?" seems the whole school is all screwed up . mo wonder kids do not learn anything now days . take the computers away and teach them the old fashion way by book and black board like 60 plus years ago . how the hell would you like to have the school call and ask why your kid is not in school ? hell he could of gone to a better school or moved or what ever , looks like some one had better up date all the schools books . sorry for the young lad but like you said we will never know what the real story was .
Ken Briggs September 29, 2013 at 02:12 PM
so Sam where is all that school funds going to ? if the teachers not getting more pay and the computers not up dated who do you blame . still where were vtheones at that wasto watch over the kids at ? I sure he just did not just walked into the water to die by him self . then why did not some one say something to the teachers so nthat they could of saved him ?
Karen MacDonald September 29, 2013 at 02:28 PM
yes we DO know the circumstances of his death... although you may need to read MORE than this ONE article IF you want more information than this ONE article provides... all INVOLVED agree ALL students were told SEVERAL TIMES no swimming, two students planned to sneak away from group (to swim) and did, SADLY one of THE YOUNG students DROWNED while swimming in dangerous part of lake... lots of investigations by local law enforcement and the state concluding in finding that adult chaperones did all AND MORE than what was necessary and required..... (all other students WERE ABLE to follow rules of all kinds that day and returned home safely.... AMAZING HOW THAT WORKS!!) this is the story of a young teen that went out of his way totie .... yes, so sorry
Karen MacDonald September 29, 2013 at 02:30 PM
to defy the authority in place FOR THE SOLE PURPOSE OF KEEPING HIM AND OTHER STUDENTS SAFE!!
Karen MacDonald September 29, 2013 at 02:32 PM
the ONLY thing THIS article about is how SAD it is that a computerized attendance system cannot be updated so as not to cause further grief to this family
Ken Briggs September 29, 2013 at 02:39 PM
Karen MacDonald please explain why the school would call the parent up or send letters to say the teen is not in school for ? looks likesomeone at the school screwed up big time .
Karen MacDonald September 29, 2013 at 02:43 PM
and for those that do not know: ''DNAinfo'' is the name of a website that was INCORRECTLY identified using the phrase ''DNA info'' and apparently THAT led some readers to believe the young man was found later and could only be identified by his ''dna''.... no need to be snarky here to anyone making comments, but plus allow me to repeat that IF you want MORE INFO than what is contained in ONE article, well YOU may have to read MORE than ONE article and condolences to the family and friends of this young man, even though his decisions and actions led to this SAD SAD outcome, there is still a horrible loss here,
Karen MacDonald September 29, 2013 at 03:08 PM
it has been has already been explained how and WHY this happened, and I will be glad to again explain: it is not a PERSON that calls or writes letters, it is a computer system.. a computer system owned and operated by the school, the computer can only do what it is programmed to do, so until it is REprogrammed, (by a person) the computer will do what it does, sad for the family that human error has caused them so much pain
Ken Briggs September 29, 2013 at 03:16 PM
Karen , so who is the one that runs the computer ? kick them in the butt and get things done right or find someone that can do it right .
John Bennett September 29, 2013 at 03:21 PM
It amazes me that some people expect a 16 yr.old not to do something when an official tells them not to and yet when they tell them not to they don't listen either.Parents are with them 3 times as long each day.I might suggest helping these teachers help your teen.If you really listen, most rebellious teens are screaming for help from both parents and teachers.
Karen MacDonald September 29, 2013 at 03:25 PM
i do not know the name of the person that inputs the data.... (might even be a lot of people working a school district wide computer system) ...... and I so AGREE that someone or someone running the records department needs to make sure THIS never happens again to an already grieving family
Stephanie Smith September 29, 2013 at 03:37 PM
How many kids die at this school on a monthly basis for them to not be able to recall a name of a deceased person when following up on attendance? It is said that the staff does not the student's name committed to memory, esp since there was a lawsuit against the school on the entire situation. Though it may have been an error, it lacked complete respect and the family members should not have to be reminded of his death because the staff can't get their system together. Just because a school may be understaffed it is not something the parents should bear.
Judi Cornfield September 29, 2013 at 04:02 PM
What a horrible thing!!! This poor dad lost his son and the dumbass school system keeps calling to complain about the child's attendance. Someone should have fixed this by now. Please, after 4 months this is still happening?
Ken Briggs September 29, 2013 at 04:02 PM
forfget the crap thats not my department,the stuff had to of been in all the newspapers and news and other outlets , so why not check into it ? some one did a hell of a screw up job . wake them up and fire them or have them take a few weeks off work with no pay .
Ken Briggs September 29, 2013 at 04:22 PM
Stephanie Smith in todays world lot of people do not read the paper because of the price . here on the west coast during the week it is $1.50 a copy and San Francisco sunday paper it is $ 3.00 a paper .Still the school should of let each department know that some one that goes to that school had died and the why and hows . yes it it tuff bring up kids now days because so many families do not stay together any more and that both mother and father got to work more than one job ,so they do not see the kids like they want , but the school sure did a good screw up job on this one .
John Bennett September 29, 2013 at 04:32 PM
Well put, Ken.
richard j September 29, 2013 at 05:14 PM
if that was a white kid we wouldn't see on net .... what so spacial about this to be on here ..... bc he is black or bc he disobeyed teachers orders went to swim or bc he didn't know how to swim.... very sad he died ...
jill Nadler September 29, 2013 at 05:24 PM
Every year someone swims in the water at Harriman State Park and dies. Signs are posted and people ignore them. Probably no one at the school thought of deleting his name from the computer call system, but did the family call the school and ask them to delete his name? If so, then they are at fault. If not, it was probably an oversight. I can't imagine that the school has a ton of kids who die that it would become SOP to remove names. Probably just an unfortunate problem that can be fixed.
Ken Briggs September 29, 2013 at 06:18 PM
Jil Nadler Are you saying that the parents are to call the school to tell them that Johnny will not be in school ant more because they screwed up ? what department do you call, after all the school is so big that you have to call all departments to see that they know why , johnny is not in school . but after four months , something is wrong .
James Wilson September 29, 2013 at 07:26 PM
Again, "...the state this week found the school was not at fault in the drowning death of 16-year old Jean Fritz last June." The only reason I can see for the "state" to make such a statement would be to eliminate any accountability for potential legal action. From my reading, the boy's father has not pursued any litigious action, nor does he have any plans to do so. If we mix old time values and morals, with a dash or two of principles, does that in any way alter who was at fault? The boy is still dead and according to the school absent from class. Perhaps an apology might make a difference. Once upon a time, in America, to admit one had made a mistake and apologized for it would end a problem if the apology was accepted.
Jeramiah Johnson September 29, 2013 at 07:29 PM
did not read about any response from school officials. perhaps they're all zombies. and you know what happened to the zombies in the Night of the Living Dead.
Ken Briggs September 29, 2013 at 07:45 PM
James Wilson yes , but that was back when you did not have all this computer stuff . about 60 year ago , but today news travels fast and stories flies right or wrong . the school did screw up . how is it one hand did not know whst the other hand was doing . sorry for the young man .sorry for the family also, why was the school so late in getting it,s books up dated ?
Susan September 29, 2013 at 07:51 PM
@ Carol C. Castillo. You send your kids to school to get an education. Teaching the kids to follow rules etc is supposed to come from home (called learning to respect authority) . The fault is on the kid completely. He made an active choice to disobey the rules. He was the age where you do not hold the childs hand. As for the absentee phone calls the school dropped the ball in not notifying who ever is in charge of setting up the automated calls. Absentee notices sent home are also automated. These are not teacher jobs but secretarial/administrative duties.
Ken Briggs September 29, 2013 at 08:02 PM
Susan , yes thhis shows you that the school has piss poor help and they do not know what the hell is going on at the school . how could they not know about this when it happen , guess the help had better start reading the paper and listen to the local news , they might get some smarts .
Red Sam Rackham September 30, 2013 at 11:33 AM
If the lad was a few years older (legally adult) and got trampled to death running with bulls in Spain would it even be news? Prob'ly not but no less stupid.
Ken Briggs September 30, 2013 at 11:41 AM
Red Sam Rackham what ? did that happen to YOU ?

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