Safe Schools petition for Aspley State High School reaches 20,000
A petition started to implement the Safe Schools program at Aspley State High School has reached 20,000 signatories in just two days.
The program aims to stop homophobic and transphobic bullying in schools and has not been implimented at the Queensland school.
“We need to teach children to be accepting of differences and bullying should not be tolerated under any circumstance,” signatory Sylvia Markovic said.
“I was horrified when I was told of Tyrone’s death, a young boy with the world at his feet. Tyrone was at the age where he should be discovering himself in a safe and accepting environment,” she said.
“Instead he took his own life after years of torment from bullies because of his sexuality.”
Tyrone’s mother, Amanda Unsworth, told the Courier Mail, “he was a really feminine male, he loved fashion, he loved make-up and the boys always picked on him, calling him gay-boy, faggot, fairy; it was a constant thing from Year Five”.
Aspley State High School in May 2016. Source: Google Maps
Roulstone said her eldest son will be starting at Aspley State High next year and would like it to be a safe space for all children.
“With programs like Safe School we can save others like Tyrone Unswroth, she said.
“By creating safe and supportive school environments, we can reduce homophobic and transphobic bullying and discrimination in schools.”
Jacquita Miller, Principal at Aspley State High School said on Friday that despite Tyrone’s mother stating the bullying had been going on for a long time, no reports had been made to the school.
"In relation to bullying, let me be very clear: no allegation of bullying against this young person was made to our school,” she said.
"Neither the student nor his family ever came to us to say there was a problem of any kind. If they did, we absolutely would have stepped in.”
"Our deepest sympathies are with this young person’s family, friends, loved ones and everyone who has been affected including his peers," she added.
Another signatory, Luke Krause, said he knows first hand that schools need to be safer spaces.
“As a gay man who suffered horrific bullying at a series of schools, I was devastated to hear of this young man's suicide. We have a duty of care to protect our children from all forms of bullying, and from impotent teachers, parents and other students who allow this sort of behaviour,” he said.
Shay Decke said enough is enough.
“Children who are LGBTI are going through so much emotional and physical pain already as it is,” he posted on change.org.
“High school should be some of the happiest best times of their lives not the worst and certainly not life ending!”
A funeral for Tyrone is expected to take place on December 1.
To sign the petition click here.
If this story has touched on issues for you, please don’t hesitate to contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Kids Helpline on1800 55 1800.