‘i did it For My daugh­ter’

Why Mum says she sent mes­sages that caused lock­downs

The Gold Coast Bulletin - - FRONT PAGE - CAMP­BELL GELLIE camp­bell.gellie@news.com.au

A MOTHER ac­cused of putting a Gold Coast high school into lock­down by post­ing threat­en­ing on­line mes­sages says she did it to pro­tect her daugh­ter.

Break­ing her si­lence to the Bulletin, the 36-year-old mother said she mas­quer­aded as a stu­dent through fake Face­book and In­sta­gram ac­counts to stop her girl from be­ing bul­lied.

A MOTHER ac­cused of putting a Gold Coast high school into lock­down by post­ing threat­en­ing on­line mes­sages says she did it to pro­tect her daugh­ter. Break­ing her si­lence to the

Bulletin yes­ter­day, the 36-yearold mother said she mas­quer­aded as a stu­dent through fake Face­book and In­sta­gram ac­counts to stop her girl from be­ing bul­lied.

The woman said she was sorry for the posts and what they caused, but was des­per­ate to stop “phys­i­cal and emo­tional” at­tacks on her daugh­ter that had gone on for five years.

“I have tried to rea­son with the teach­ers, the staff. We’ve had meet­ings and it has al­ways been (an­other stu­dent) is the vic­tim and my daugh­ter is al­ways the prob­lem.

“It is like one fob off to an­other. Every time some­thing hap­pens she gets pun­ished.

“I have had no out­come. There is noth­ing they are do­ing to sup­port her.

“The (night be­fore the lock­downs) my daugh­ter had bro­ken down from ev­ery­thing that has been hap­pen­ing and she was cry­ing, scream­ing and say­ing ‘how can (they) get away with it, how are (they) al­ways right?’.

“She was hav­ing a full on melt­down and this is a reg­u­lar oc­cur­rence. I was just try­ing to pro­tect her.

“I re­gret that the chil­dren had to be in lock­down and were scared but I don’t re­gret stick­ing up for my daugh­ter.

“She al­ways has to walk into the school and she gets slut shamed. She gets called slut by other stu­dents and peo­ple who gos­sip.”

This week things be­came par­tic­u­larly bad, she said, be­cause her daugh­ter was taunted by a group of stu­dents on In­sta­gram.

The mother said she took screen­shots of the on­line bul­ly­ing and sent it to the school.

But she said the school did not act.

“(The on­line posts were) never against (the stu­dent I pre­tended to be). What I did was more for the school (to say) ‘can you take this se­ri­ously’?” she said.

Up­per Coomera State Col­lege was sent into lock­down twice on Tues­day, at 10.30am and 1.30pm, af­ter Face­book posts threat­ened some­one with a gun would kill peo­ple on school grounds.

The first mes­sage read: “I’m shoot the f***ing school to­mor­row, got a gun … this will be noth­ing on Colom­bians k***s.”

On Wed­nes­day, the woman was charged with use of a car­riage ser­vice to men­ace or ha­rass, wil­ful dis­tur­bance at an ed­u­ca­tional fa­cil­ity and fraud.

She is due to ap­pear in South­port Mag­is­trates Court on June 28. The school did not re­spond to

Bulletin ques­tions yes­ter­day.

A Depart­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion spokesman said: “Up­per Coomera State Col­lege has worked closely with the stu­dent and fam­ily to ad­dress the re­ported bul­ly­ing con­cerns.

“Bul­ly­ing is not tol­er­ated in Queens­land state schools. Any sit­u­a­tion that threat­ens the safety and well-be­ing of stu­dents is treated ex­tremely se­ri­ously, and dealt with as a mat­ter of ur­gent pri­or­ity. This week’s in­ci­dent is a po­lice mat­ter and the depart­ment can­not com­ment fur­ther.”

The woman said she was phoned by a school of­fi­cial af­ter the first lock­down. The of­fi­cial was try­ing to find a stu­dent.

“The first thing that came to mind was (an ad­min­is­tra­tor) can jump quick to this but (they) can’t come quick to pro­tect my daugh­ter,” she said.

“(They) were so quick to jump on that, a Face­book post, but (they) weren’t that quick when my daugh­ter was be­ing phys­i­cally, emo­tion­ally and men­tally abused at school.

“(They) rang me in-be­tween and asked where (a stu­dent was) but (they) didn’t have much to say at all about a res­o­lu­tion for (my daugh­ter).

“I tried to speak to (them) about (my daugh­ter), (they) didn’t want to speak about (her), (they) said ‘(they) had to go’.

“(They) weren’t will­ing to ne­go­ti­ate. I was try­ing to help my daugh­ter.”

I RE­GRET THAT THE CHIL­DREN HAD TO BE IN LOCK­DOWN AND WERE SCARED BUT I DON’T RE­GRET STICK­ING UP FOR MY DAUGH­TER. AC­CUSED MUM

The woman ac­cused of be­ing re­spon­si­ble for shoot­ing threats made on­line that twice sent a Gold Coast school into lock­down.

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