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Joulene Fears For Her Own Son Following Tyrone's Death

A Brisbane mother is so concerned about her autistic son being bullied at a north Brisbane school next year she wants the principal to sign up for the Safe Schools program.

Joulene Roulstone has started a petition on change.org for Aspley State High School to join the program following the death of Year 7 student Tyrone Unsworth, who took his own life after being bullied about his sexuality.

She said her son was at a "higher risk" of being bullied and it would be in the interest of parents and students if Aspley joined the Safe Schools program which tackles homophobic and transphobic bullying.

Photo: the Change.org petition

"This program exists for kids like Tyrone and why is it not in our schools? I can't understand why," Ms Roulstone told AAP.

"They have the perfect opportunity to trial it after this."

The Queensland government has left it up to principals to decide if they wish to be part of the Safe Schools program.

The government does not mandate individual programs nor keep a count on which schools do participate.

"Students will not participate in any class lessons conducted by their teachers involving Safe Schools Coalition materials without the prior consent of their parents," the Education Department said.

Photo: Tyrone and Amanda Unsworth

Amanda Unsworth last week spoke about how Tyrone, 13, had been attacked with a fence paling less than a month ago by a fellow student.

The incident occurred outside the school grounds and the attack was so violent he required surgery and was too afraid to go back to school. He took his life last Tuesday.

Ms Roulstone said Tyrone's death should not be be in vain and the Safe Schools program was a step in the right direction.

"I do worry about that (my son), being that he has a disability, he is at a higher risk of being bullied," she said.

Readers seeking support and information about suicide prevention can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.

Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800 (for young people aged 5 to 25).


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