Bullied boy dies after being beaten by classmates

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A bullied boy from Philadelphia has died after a brutal attack by two classmates left him in a medically-induced coma.

Bailey O’Neill, who turned 12 on Saturday, died Sunday morning and was taken off life support.  Two other pupils jumped Bailey during recess at their Darby Township School, hitting him in the face repeatedly, the boy’s father Rob O’Neill told WPVI.

Bailey O'Neill School

Family of Bailey O’Neill say he was attacked during recess by two classmates at Darby Township School. (NBC Philadelphia)

He suffered a broken nose, a concussion and his personality changed after the attack.  “He was sleeping. He was moody. He wasn’t himself. He was angry a little bit. He wasn’t really eating,” Rob O’Neill told WPVI in February.

His condition worsened over the next couple weeks and was ultimately hospitalized in Wilmington, Delaware after he began vomiting and having seizures.  Doctors hoped placing him in a coma would end the seizures, but they continued.  Bailey developed pneumonia and required a blood transfusion.

Bailey O'Neill bully boy died

Bailey O’Neill died after a bullying attack by his own classmates left him in a medically-induced coma. (Facebook)


News of the bully attack spread quickly over the Internet with thousands liking the “Prayers for Bailey O’Neill” Facebook Page.  An anti-bullying Pennsylvania House bill has even been created, with nearly a thousand signatures so far.

Ray Rice

Baltimore Ravens Star running back Ray Rice is urging parents, teachers and elected officials to act to prevent bullying.

News of Bailey’s death inspired Baltimore Ravens star running back Ray Rice to speak out against bullying on Facebook, writing: “After learning last Thursday that doctors said Bailey had no longer had any brain activity, I reached out to the family and was able to spend about 45 minutes on the phone with them. I could hear their sadness, worry, frustration and grief. They would be faced with removing their son, cousin, nephew, and best friend from life support.

I don’t think I will ever be able to understand why kids bully each other and how we are all sitting here after yet another “bully death” getting ready to go through this difficult task of picking up the pieces and the even more difficult task of forgiving so we can heal.”

Bailey O'Neill

(NBC Philadelphia)

It is still unclear what further action will be taken against the two boys in the attack, if any, after they were suspended for two days.

School superintendent Stephen Butz said in a statement: “We have requested that the local police assist us in the investigation of this incident and are fully cooperating with their investigation of this incident.”

Bailey O'Neill

“I would like to see these kids punished,” Joy Fecanin, Bailey’s grandmother, told NBC before her his death. “Something has to be done. I don’t know what’s taking them so long.” (NBC Philadelphia)

“I would like to see these kids punished,” Joy Fecanin, Bailey’s grandmother, told NBC before her his death. “Something has to be done. I don’t know what’s taking them so long.”  Investigators have video and witness accounts in the case, but any charges are pending until investigators can determine whether or not Bailey’s injuries sustained in the fight were causing his seizures.

Delaware County District Attorney Jack Whelan

“We can assure them that we we are going to continue with our investigation,” said Delaware County District Attorney Jack Whelan.



  • Douglas Moret

    My condolences goes out to the family..R.I.P BAILEY!!!im so sad to read this ,I have an 15 year old daughter that is my heart and soul and wouldn’t begin to tell you what I would do if this tragic happened to me….I’m so tearing right now…I would take this on my self..

    • cjn

      This is why some people would retaliate by fatal shootings(not saying its right). They'd take the law into their hands if nothing were done about it yet they'd be punished for it. That shows how stupid the justice system and officials are.

  • Eddie Sifonte

    Don't understand,if at 12 or 20 you kill,or your actions lead to someone's death,you should be tried as an adult.We have aone of the best leagal system in the world,however there are too many loopholes in it….If by 12 you have not learned that beating up other kids is wrong,you never will you will only get older and your actions more severe….May god grant patience and serenity to this boy's familyto help them get through this tragedy and heal…..and to all you politicians and lawmakers it is time to close all 'loopholes so this does not haoppen again…..so sad…

  • Vincent Ravikanth MD

    My condolences to the Bailey family. I have a growing hate towards adolescents and their attitudes, seriously, why do they act this way? To kill someone. I hope they get thrown into jail for life. I’m scared to death for my children, with nutjobs on the loose. Maybe instead of planning on how to cheat taxpayers every morning, plan on getting these horrible abominations called “bullies” and killers off the schools and streets

  • PJF

    I agree with CJN. I am also outraged. I called the school a month ago in an attempt to reach out to the family and see if there was a fund set up for the family so folks could offer support. The administrators and staff who answered the phone were extremely rude. Indicative of the leadership of this school. Emails to the principal went unanswered. Now, folks will pay for their horrible mistakes from those responsible to the school staff.
    RIP Bailey. Thoughts and prayers with you and your family now.
    Bullying MUST stop NOW.

  • Mercy

    My condolences goes to the fam & friends. I have 3 teen myself I dnt know what I would do if something like this would happen to me. I think I would go to jail but I would buried someone right next to my kid. This kids need to be punish they need to learn their lesson bully needs to stop enough is enough.

  • Jaymax

    This country is getting out of hand. The parents of these murderers should be held accountable as well. That is where it starts……..the home.

  • CathyH

    If I had a child in that school, I wouldn't leave her or him there for a second longer in that kind of danger. Not until the superintendent, the principal, and every teacher of that school have made and implemented plans to keep my child safe from murderers.

  • Tommy K

    One bully picking on another child is sickening. Two bullies beating a child to death is criminal. Do they learn this type of behavior at home? Do their parents allow them to behave this way? Do they even know that they are raising criminals? It's time to hold someone accountable, bullies and the parents. Maybe other children need to be taken away before the cycle continues. Parents need to know what their children are doing and how they are behaving.

  • melija

    wow! damn it what makes anyone think they can put their hands on anybody else . they have no right to ever touch anyone . and these boys parents outta be ashamed of themselves . i think the parents should be held responsible . you beet know how your children act out and apparently these parents did cos i seriously doubt this is the first incident . ashame and absolutely disgusting

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