THE mother of the Wodonga teen bullied to the point of attempting suicide fears the culprits will not be punished.
She said yesterday her daughter’s school had limited options and unless the author of the poison-pen letter that brought about the near-tragedy this week could be identified, those responsible would get off “scot-free”.
Yesterday Victorian Education Minister Martin Dixon weighed into the issue while internet feedback on the report suggested the culprits should face criminal charges.
The Border Mail yesterday revealed the sad story of Jessica, 15.
She had spent most of term 3 at home after a relentless campaign of bullying at school and on social media.
But after an uneventful first week of term 4, a letter was left in her locker, laden with expletives and telling her to go kill herself. It pushed her to a near-fatal low.
Her frustrated mother yesterday said she didn’t know what to do next.
“They have put a five-point action plan in place but that is all stuff we know,” she said.
“The school says it is very worried about Jessica and the incident.
“But if they can’t identify who wrote the note nothing will happen, nothing will change.”
Yesterday at Wooragee, Mr Dixon said every school was required to have a bullying policy.
“We have joined forces with the Alannah and Madeline Foundation in a $10 million project to educate parents, teachers and students,” he said.
“It picks up every school — some are a long way down the track with very good policies and others are just starting out.
“The results of bullying can be quite devastating to an individual child and family and friends.”
Comments on The Border Mail website suggested the problem was endemic at Wodonga Middle Years College.
Principal Russell Polson has said the incident was isolated and not a common occurrence and the school took a zero- tolerance approach.
“Zero tolerance, investigating, counselling, warning, education. So much for zero tolerance approach — if they have warned them, they know who is doing it so stick to the zero tolerance and expel them,” said one website contributor.
“Criminal Charges. Use them as an example,” said another.