A Sunshine Coast mother, who discovered a heartbreaking note etched on her daughter’s Nintendo DS following years of incessant bullying, has vowed to home school her for the foreseeable future.
Shellie Ross did all she could not to break down in tears when her 17-year-old son pointed out the note on his little sister’s gaming console.
“Some of the time I’m really sad that I feel broken,” the message read, finished with a picture of a broken heart.
Speaking to Yahoo7 News, Ms Ross explained that Lily had been repeatedly labelled fat, had sand thrown in her eyes and her bag put in the toilet, with little intervention from the school or the education department.
But after seeing those words scribbled down on the 10-year-old’s Nintendo, the mother-of-five said “enough is enough” and on Monday informed her daughter’s school that she would be home-schooling Lily effective immediately.
“This is not something you ever want to do as a parent, to pull them out of school and take them away from their friends” Ms Ross said.
“It has taken me four years to make this decision… you get to your breaking point, and finding that message, I was heartbroken.”
Lily, who was diagnosed with severe anxiety at just eight years old, told her mum she felt like she was on “cloud eleven” when she arrived at school but by lunch time, she would be back on “cloud zero”.
“She says mum do you think if I put this ribbon in my hair, the kids will be nice to me today?” Ms Ross explained.
“She shouldn’t have to feel like that.”
Along with the Brisbane School of Distance Education, Ms Ross will now be responsible for the year four student’s learning for the remainder of 2018 and potentially all the way into high school.
The Mt Coolum resident, who has been in contact with other home-schooling families, said she isn’t concerned about Lily missing out on the chance of making friends at school as she can make them in other areas of life.
She said Lily feels like she has had a huge weight lifted off her shoulders and is now excited by the prospect of a digital classroom.
A spokesperson for the Queensland Department of Education said Lily’s school was committed to providing a safe, respectful and disciplined learning environment for all students.
“Bullying is not tolerated in Queensland state schools. Any situation that threatens the safety and wellbeing of students is treated extremely seriously and dealt with as a matter of urgent priority,” they said in a statement.
Yahoo7 News has contacted the school for comment.