...By Jack Sylva for TDPel Media.
On February 6, 2021, 11-year-old Felicia LoAlbo-Melendez was found unconscious in a stall in the F.W. Holbein School in New Jersey. She had taken her own life in the school bathroom.
Officials attempted to save her life but were unsuccessful, and she was later pronounced dead by suicide. The sixth-grader had been tormented by bullies leading up to her death, and her mother claims that she attempted to warn school officials several times.
Father’s Death and Bullying
Only a week prior to Felicia’s untimely death, her father, NJ Detective Alexis Melendez, died of pancreatic cancer on January 26. Felicia’s mother, Elaina LoAlbo, revealed that Felicia was being bullied and requested tapes to confirm her daughter’s cause of death.
Felicia’s death occurred only days after Adriana Kuch, another New Jersey schoolgirl, took her own life after being taunted with texts from bullies who had beaten her in the school halls.
Felicia’s Attempts to Reach Out for Help
According to Elaina, her daughter emailed school officials at F.W. Holbein School to inform them that she was being bullied and called staff out for not taking action.
The letter was one of many that Felicia had written, which officials never investigated. A month before her death, Felicia had also written another letter proposing a ‘trauma club’ to provide a safe space for students to unwind.
Lack of Investigation and Accountability
Weeks after Felicia’s death, investigators and prosecutors have not pinpointed Felicia’s bullies or how she was tormented.
Elaina claimed that the bullying that Felicia and so many other kids in the school encountered had been swept under the rug, and the investigation into her death was being treated in the same way.
A father of Felicia’s friend later revealed at a school board meeting that he knew Felicia was being bullied and regretted not taking action sooner. He called for a full investigation, a full accounting, and the truth for Felicia.