11-year-old commits suicide at school

The unexpected passing of 11-year-old Felicia LoAlbo-Melendez of New Jersey has brought shock and dismay to the local community and renewed a call to take a strong stance against bullying in schools.

On February 6th, Felicia was found unresponsive in a bathroom stall at F.W. Holbein School in Mount Holly and was later declared dead at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

An autopsy reported that her death was caused by suicide. Adding to the tragedy, Felicia had recently lost her father, NJ Transit Detective Alexis Melendez, to pancreatic cancer only a few days prior.

Felicia’s mother, Elaina LoAlbo, wrote to school leaders about her worries about the bullying her daughter had experienced. She later expressed her wish that the school had taken her daughter’s plea for help more seriously.

The school board has declined to comment on the ongoing investigation. Schools Superintendent Robert Mungo simply released a letter confirming the death of a student without naming Felicia or mentioning suicide.

At a school board meeting in March, Seth Turner, the father of one of Felicia’s best friends, said that his daughter had told him Felicia had been the victim of bullying by classmates.

Tragically, Felicia’s death had come only three days after Adriana Olivia Kuch, a freshman at Central Regional High School in Bayville, New Jersey, had taken her own life due to bullying.