TOWN MOURNS ‘SPE­CIAL SOUL’

Fam­ily pays trib­ute to teen they’ll miss for­ever

Stanthorpe Border Post - - FRONT PAGE - Mar­ian Faa

HEART­BRO­KEN par­ents who re­turned from a doc­tor’s ap­point­ment to find their daugh­ter dead have pleaded with other par­ents to “talk to your kids” as they try to un­der­stand why 16-year-old Kait­lyn Ros sud­denly took her own life.

Stan­thorpe’s Eric and Juanita Ros have had their “hearts ripped out” and are liv­ing through “the worst night­mare a par­ent can have” in the wake of their youngest daugh­ter’s death.

On Novem­ber 8, Mr and Mrs Ros were driv­ing back from a hos­pi­tal ap­point­ment in Toowoomba when they tried to call home.

When Kait­lyn didn’t an­swer the phone, they rushed back to dis­cover their “beau­ti­ful girl” had taken her own life.

“Kait­lyn is dead!!!” was the chill­ing text mes­sage old­est sib­ling Shardae will never for­get.

Stan­thorpe po­lice of­fi­cer in charge Ger­ard Brady said de­tec­tives were treat­ing the death as a sui­cide.

Stan­thorpe res­i­dent Hay­ley Latham said the in­ci­dent had shaken the whole com­mu­nity.

“It gives peo­ple a sense of fear, of not be­ing in con­trol, not be­gin able to cre­ate a safe en­vi­ron­ment for our kids,” Mrs Latham said.

While Kait­lyn’s fam­ily have called for an urgent coro­nial in­quest to de­ter­mine the cir­cum­stances sur­round­ing her death, they be­lieve she also suf­fered bul­ly­ing and ha­rass­ment at school.

“Our beau­ti­ful girl is gone she can never be re­placed. Our lives will never be the same be­cause some­one felt it was OK to bully,” Mr Ros said in a pub­lic com­ment on so­cial me­dia.

While the fam­ily strug­gle to un­der­stand the suf­fer­ing Kait­lyn faced, her last words to them re­main to be seen.

Five in­di­vid­ual let­ters ad­dressed to each of Kait­lyn’s rel­a­tives are locked away in a po­lice re­port that is cur­rently be­ing pre­pared for the coro­ner.

The old­est of six sib­lings and clos­est to Kait­lyn, Shardae said her sis­ter’s death could have been pre­vented.

“I was go­ing through my (text) mes­sages the other night and she had been telling me she was get­ting bul­lied,” Shardae said. “In hind­sight you could prob­a­bly see some­thing was go­ing wrong, but she was such a lov­ing and car­ing per­son.” Mr Ros took to so­cial me­dia, beg­ging other chil­dren to speak up about their trou­bles.

“Kids please tell your par­ents if you are (be­ing bul­lied),” he said. “We love you, we want to help you. You are needed in our lives. “Please, please re­port it to some one you are be­ing bul­lied if they don't lis­ten, tell your par­ents.”

A spokes­woman for the Depart­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion said her school was “deeply sad­dened” by the loss.

“Spe­cial­ist coun­selling sup­port is be­ing pro­vided through ser­vices or­gan­ised by the school, and we en­cour­age any­one af­fected to reach out for as­sis­tance,” she said. “Dur­ing this time, we ask ev­ery­one to re­spect the dif­fer­ent ways in which in­di­vid­u­als ex­press grief, and un­der­stand the sig­nif­i­cant im­pact such a loss has on our com­mu­nity.

“It is a time for stu­dents, fam­i­lies and staff to take care of each other and of­fer time to lis­ten.”

The wider com­mu­nity com­mem­o­rated Kait­lyn’s life in a pub­lic ser­vice on Fri­day.

Her sis­ter said she will be re­mem­bered as a car­ing young woman who loved art, her dog and was plan­ning to de­vote her­self to a ca­reer in aged care.

“She is go­ing to be missed more than she knows,” Shardae said.

If you or some­one you know need help, 24/7 sup­port is avail­able. Con­tact Life­line on 13 11 14 or Kids Helpline on 1800 551 800, or visit kid­shelpline.com.au

Kids please tell your par­ents if you are (be­ing bul­lied). — Eric Ros

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

TOO SOON: Kait­lyn Ros will be re­mem­bered as a lov­ing, car­ing and cre­ative young soul.

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