The mother of 9-year-old Murri boy Quaden Bayles has told the Disability Royal Commission that it took a viral video of her son threatening suicide to get any action from education authorities.
Queensland mother Yarraka Bayles described her son as a proud Murri boy and the strongest, smartest and funniest kid she’s ever known.
But she told the Royal Commission that school has been a constant struggle for Quaden, who was born with Achondroplasia – a type of dwarfism, and that he's experienced extreme bullying for years.
Ms Bayles said frustration about the relentless attacks and a lack of action from her son’s school led to her recording the distressing video that went viral.
“He was hysterical, crying and screaming about wanting to kill himself. I was so upset and frustrated and I just pulled out my phone and took a video and posted it,” she said.
"I honestly feel like it took for a viral video for us to be able to get the support we need.
"There have been several times where I've made contact in person at the school, I've called several times, I've written emails, you know, looking for a resolution or looking for some sort of support or acknowledgment, that the bullying is being dealt with. But it wasn't until recently that we are actually noticing some improvements.”
Ms Bayles said she wants schools to be more inclusive and accessible for students with disability.
She also told the Royal Commission that she wants “Quaden’s Law” introduced, to make sure all kids feel safe to go to school.
In a pre-recorded video for the inquiry, Quaden himself had a simple message for kids who don't understand how hurtful bullying can be.
“To understand and not be rude to kids with disabilities and just be kind and nice,” he said.
The hearing continues.