An 11-year-old girl from New Jersey, Felicia LoAlbo-Melendez, took her own life on February 6th inside a bathroom at F.W. Holbein School in Mount Holly. Her suicide followed the recent passing of her father, NJ Transit Detective Alexis Melendez, from cancer. The sixth-grader had previously expressed concerns about bullying at her school in an email to a school official.
In the email, Felicia proposed the idea of creating a “Trauma Club” where students could have a safe space to express their feelings and emotions. She believed that such a club could help those who were struggling with difficult life experiences. Felicia offered to contribute as much as possible if the school were to implement her idea.
Felicia’s mother, Elaina LoAlbo, shared the email and recounted her daughter’s experiences with bullying, which began as early as kindergarten. According to LoAlbo, Felicia had been an advocate against bullying from a young age, standing up for herself and others when necessary.
LoAlbo has requested access to the school’s security footage from the day of her daughter’s death, as she fears there could be more to the story. However, the school has not yet granted her request, citing an ongoing criminal investigation. In addition, LoAlbo stated that she has been locked out of her daughter’s online school account since before Felicia passed away.
The Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office has announced that the video footage will be released to LoAlbo in the near future. A spokesperson for the office stated that they had previously communicated to LoAlbo that she would be allowed to view the surveillance recording once the criminal investigation was completed.
The tragic story of Felicia LoAlbo-Melendez highlights the urgent need for schools to address bullying and provide emotional support for students dealing with difficult situations.