Bullies forced a Toowoomba schoolgirl into hospital after damaging a gastronomy button on her stomach. Her mother Julie Philips is furious that the school didn't do more to punish the child.
Bullies forced a Toowoomba schoolgirl into hospital after damaging a gastronomy button on her stomach. Her mother Julie Philips is furious that the school didn't do more to punish the child. Contributed

Girl needs surgery after bully punches her at school

A TOOWOOMBA girl was forced to have surgery on her stomach after she was attacked by a bully at her school.

The incident, which was not isolated according to the girl's mother, caused a gastronomy button in her stomach to dislodge, nine.com.au reported on Friday.

Julie Phillips said bullying was a serious problem at her child's school, adding that she was sick of the lack of action from administration.

According to Ms Phillips, the only punishment the bully received was missing out on an end-of-term reward of going on a jumping castle.

"At first it wasn't too bad. It started out as little things like kids calling her names," she said.

"She had a nasal gastric tube in. So they started off with the whole calling her 'booger face' and all that kind of stuff."

Damage to girl's gastronomy button on he stomach after a bully attacked her at a Toowoomba school.
Damage to girl's gastronomy button on he stomach after a bully attacked her at a Toowoomba school. Contributed

Ms Phillips said the assaults on her daughter had worsened over the years, with one punching her in the stoma (the opening on her stomach) in Year 1, and last year another pulling out a fistful of her hair.

Following the latest incident, Ms Phillips said the teachers didn't bother to check how she was, with a library staff member finally noticing the blood on her shirt.

She took her daughter to Toowoomba Hospital, only to find out the gastronomy button had been dislodged and pushed into her abdominal wall.

"The girl's only punishment was missing the jumping castle for end of term rewards," Ms Phillips said about punishment.

"There were no suspensions, not even an apology to my daughter. No mediation between the girls to try and calm the situation down, nothing.

"They have done nothing about the bullying. It takes all my energy just to be civil and polite with the school because I am so angry."

A spokesman for the Department of Education and Training supplied a statement to The Chronicle, but it did not say whether it was investigating the incident.

"Students are dealt with under the school's Responsible Behaviour Plan for Students. It outlines the standard of behaviour expected from students and the consequences when those standards are not met," he said.

"Students and parents are strongly encouraged to report cases of bullying to the school principal or school leadership team and work with them to resolve any issues in the first instance."

Fellow parent Nikita Stehbens started a petition to the Department of Education in response to the incident and several other examples of bullying in Queensland schools, garnering more than 2300 signatures in the process.



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