A mother whose young daughter was bullied at primary school – while she was having treatment for cancer - says cruelty by children must stop.
Terri Townsend’s daughter, Billi-Jo, lost her hair through chemotherapy. Her mother says her ordeal was worsened by girls in her Year One and Two class tormenting her until she cried.
Please speak to your children and help them understand that being a bully is not okay, or tough, or cool. It's cruelTerri Townsend
Terri moved Billi-Jo to Beechwood Public School where she was happy. Tragically, her daughter passed away.
“She was the kindest little girl, so happy-go-lucky,” said Terri.
On Friday January 12, the day of the funeral of the former Akubra model, 14-year-old Dolly Everett, whose father said bullying contributed to her suicide, Terri decided to raise the issue in her community.
She put signs outside her family business, Beechwood Post Office and General Store, saying: “Stop bullying now,” and “Speak even if your voice shakes,” in memory of the teenager, and of her own little girl.
“A cause so close to my heart. I hope everyone reads this today and takes a moment to reflect on the human race,” wrote Terri on Facebook.
“A young lady took her life this week because she thought there was no other way to escape the torture that is bullying. We, as parents, while supporting our eldest through chemotherapy saw first-hand what this can do to a child.
“Please speak to your children and help them understand that being a bully is not okay, or tough, or cool. It's cruel.”
And she added the hashtags, #doitfordolly and #speakevenifyourvoiceshakes
Speaking to the Wauchope Gazette, Terri said she erected the signs because she felt she had to.
“One person can’t change the world, but maybe I can change something for one person,” she said.
If you’ve been affected by any of the issues raised in this story, help is available.
Key national youth support services include:
Key national 24/7 crisis support services include: