A Queensland schoolgirl has been moved to tears after almost 50,000 people came out in support of her online petition against relentless bullying.
The 12-year-old sought help on the internet after enduring a barrage of taunts, including being called a freak and a weirdo, as well as being told to kill herself and pushed to the ground.
Other students have filmed themselves throwing things at her and threatened to upload the footage to the internet, she says, while one boy has followed her around calling out sexual insults and spreading cruel rumours.
The student, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, said her life has been “hell”.
The petition launched by the girl and her mother had gathered close to 50,000 signatures on Friday afternoon.
“I only beg for you to please sign my petition to ask (the) School to take a stronger stance against bullying and for the government to stop the school getting away with this,” the girl wrote.
Her mother said the young girl’s life had been changed forever by the overwhelming response and that she had cried while reading the supportive comments.
“She couldn’t believe that so many people could care about – in her words – ‘an insignificant freak like me’,” she said.
“(My daughter) says she is going to print out every comment made on her petition and fill her entire wall with them.
“She reads every one. And she is especially sad to see that so many others are experiencing the same bullying.”
Queensland’s education department said the school has a “zero tolerance approach to bullying”.
“The school has been working closely with the family for some time to resolve their concerns,” a Department of Education and Training spokesman told The Courier Mail.
“The school is continuing to work diligently to promote safe and respectful interactions between students.”