Boy, 12, viciously bullied on school bus
WHEN Tarsha Esteves saw her son Kyle run from the school bus, shirt torn and face red from crying, her heart broke.
The Hervey Bay mother said her 12-year-old son had been continually bullied since the start of the school year by a girl two years older than he, and the attacks were becoming so serious, she had to contact the police.
Ms Esteves said she had noticed behavioural changes in Kyle over the last few months and he had told her about some of the incidents on the school bus.
"On Monday there was an incident where he jumped off the bus, he was in tears, a mess, he told me an older girl had dragged him over the seats of the bus and had punched him," Ms Esteves said.
"All he could say about it was 'Mum it was a girl. I couldn't fight back. I couldn't do anything back' because he has Asperger's syndrome he doesn't understand why this is happening to him."
When Kyle arrived home on Thursday afternoon with "choke marks around his neck" Ms Esteves decided to push the issue further with authorities to help protect her boy.
Statistics show that one in about four Australian students are being bullied at school.
The issue is so prevalent in Australia that a national day of action against bullying was held on March 17 this year to raise awareness among the public.
The Hervey Bay mum contacted the bus company and Hervey Bay State High School whom she said were both supportive, but their help could only go so far.
Ms Esteves said the bus company captured the choking incident on CCTV, as well as previous incidents she was not yet aware of.
Ms Esteves has spoken to Hervey Bay police, who are assisting with the investigation along with the school and the education department.
A Department of Education and Training spokesperson confirmed the school was meeting with the bus company to "review CCTV footage of the alleged incident".
The spokesperson said bullying and violence was not tolerated "in any form".