Chilling text sent before bullied teen’s death
WHEN Sharlene Scott picked up her phone to see that she had missed a series of messages and missed calls from her daughter - she saw something that made her sick to her stomach.
Among the attempted calls from 13-year-old Emily Stick, who took her own life last month after months of vicious and persistent online bullying, was a harrowing message which detailed her plans.
Now her mother from the Gold Coast said she felt "hopeless" because she missed her daughter's final calls for help.
"I got a message that night from Emily saying 'I'm going to kill myself'," she told 9 News. "But I never saw it until it was already too late."
She told the station that her "fun-loving and caring" daughter was subject to physical, verbal and online abuse.
The teen was followed by her tormentors everywhere she went. The teen was forced to hide out in her school's toilets to avoid going to class with her bullies.
"Even her having those thoughts to kill herself at 13, it was scary," Ms Scott told Channel Nine. "I just think they were jealous of her life.
"She couldn't escape it, they followed her everywhere. She had a couple of girls tell her they were going to bash her until she wasn't breathing any more.
"Thirty of them tried to attack her - male and females. She was too scared to even go to the bus stop."
Emily's mother said the death was being investigated by police - but the family had little hope that the bullies would be brought to justice.
Tomorrow, a Senate committee is tipped to hand down its findings following an inquiry into whether bullies should be given tougher criminal charges.
It comes after sustained calls from concerned parents across Australia to tackle the issue of bullying in the country's schools.
Earlier this month, the family of a 12-year-old Sunshine Coast boy demanded answers after he attempted suicide twice because of relentless bullying.
He was picked on because of his red hair and freckles. The torment was so bad for the Year 8 student at Gympie State High that his parents even tried to change the colour of his hair.
In February, it was revealed that a six-year-old girl had been attacked with a stick and had cords tied around her neck in a series of violent incidents at Mount Gambier North Primary School, in rural South Australia.
And in January, 14-year-old Northern Territory girl Amy Jayne Everett, affectionately known as Dolly, took her own life as a result of bullying. Her parents launched a #StopBullyingNow campaign in response.
Since then, parents across the country have been speaking out about bullying in their communities and some have called for political action to be taken.
One parent has now collected more than 200,000 signatures on an online petition to have anonymous messaging apps, such as Sarahah, banned in Australia.