Desperate mother’s plea for help over school bullying
WARNING: Distressing content
THE mother of a 12-year-old Perth girl who ended up in hospital after she was subjected to severe bullying at school has slammed the department of education for failing to protect her daughter.
The woman shared a desperate post on social media alongside a photo of her daughter lying in a hospital bed last weekend. She said the young girl was receiving medical treatment after it was discovered she had allegedly devised a suicide plan.
"Not many of you know this, but our beautiful girl has been subjected to some awful bullying at school," the girl's mother wrote on Facebook.
"Our girl has had a video taken of her sitting at her desk at school, legs slightly open, with a lovely caption about the smell.
"It was posted to Snapchat. I spent 90 minutes with the police as they tried to determine if it was photographing and distribution of pornographic material. Sadly (it wasn't) ... because no one could tell who (filmed it) ... but she was subjected to weeks of ridicule."
The young girl last week spent more than five hours in emergency with "psychiatrists, doctors and nurses" following the bullying incident, her mother said.
"Our girl had a plan to commit suicide and on Tuesday I am in court applying for a VRO against a 12-year-old to keep her (the bully) away from our beautiful girl," she wrote.
"All because parents don't accept responsibility for their children and schools can only do so much."
She said her daughter had been sent home "numerous times after self-harming at school".
"She's not allowed a pencil sharpener," her mother said.
The child had been targeted online by bullies many times before, according to her mother who pleaded with other parents to watch their children's phone and online usage closely to prevent it from happening to others.
"Please, in this awful age of social media, check your children's messages," she wrote on Facebook.
"Their devices are a privilege, nothing more, nothing less, so please make sure they are being polite and respectful.
"Teach the children to talk not use text or social media to air their differences."
The mother claimed she was told by the WA Department of Education to "teach your child how to be resilient against bullies" when she reported several bullying incidents to the school.
A department spokesman told news.com.au "there does not seem to be any evidence to support that" claim.
"We don't think it's appropriate to publicly discuss the private details of a student's wellbeing," a statement from the department to news.com.au read.
"However, in situations like this, the Department would work with the school and the family to ensure the best support is available.
"This includes putting a risk management and protection plan in place with support from a psychologist.
"The Department always encourages parents to contact us directly if they have any concerns about their child's welfare."
But the mother said the school's safety plan was based on "infant school punishment" and its most stringent response to bullying incidents was to take away the perpetrators' recess and lunch privileges.
The WA Department of Education spokesman said there were no records to show how many reports of bullying it has received this year or how many students have been expelled, if any.
"The WA Department of Education doesn't expel children from schools for bullying as they say: 'Every child is entitled to an education'," the mother wrote in her Facebook post.
"What about our child's entitlement?"
The post attracted an outpouring of support and has since gone viral with 60k likes and 30k shares.
"I thought she would freak knowing I'd taken this to social media, but we've just watched 'A Girl Like Her' and I told her about the love and support that has reached her globally," the mother wrote in a Facebook update about her daughter.
"(She) has had so many messages of support and it's made her feel so strong ... she is doing much better."
If you or someone you know needs help, contact Lifeline on 131114.