Content warning: This post contains themes of mental illness that some readers may find triggering.
“My name’s Brian. I’m 12 years old. I’ve been bullied all my life and I want this to stop.”
These are the words of a young boy who doesn’t know what it’s like to go to school and not be picked on.
It started in grade three – first kids made fun of his red hair, then there were names. Then came physical fights, and from there it got worse and worse.
Brian’s been to seven different schools in his seven years of schooling. Four of which he had to leave because the bullying was so relentless.
On his final day of school last year, Brian found himself surrounded by six boys who went on to brutally bash him for what Brian estimates was three minutes.
Following that day, Brian sadly made an attempt on his own life. Twice.
In a special story by Lisa Wilkinson for The Project, Brian’s mum Patrina says she was forced to pull her son out of school entirely to keep him safe. He should be starting year eight this year. Post continues after video.
“[Brian trying to take his own life] will always be in the back of my mind now. From the minute I open my eyes to the minute I go to sleep. I’ll always worry,” she said.
“I don’t think I could give the kids a message, I could give their parents a message and say, come and have a listen to the path that we’ve walked and if you’ve got an empathy or sympathy, make sure that your children don’t create that path for somebody else to walk.”
Brian said he now spends his days playing video games, watching YouTube, and that’s it. But he’d rather do that than go back to the school where he was tormented. But Patrina knows keeping him isolated away from school isn’t the answer. She’s at a loss for how to get her son a decent education, safely.