Tyrone Unsworth, a 13-year-old Brisbane high-school student, took his life earlier this week following years of relentless bullying over his sexuality.
“He was a really feminine male, he loved fashion, he loved make-up and the boys always picked on him, calling him gay-boy, faggot, fairy; it was a constant thing from Year Five,” his mother, Amanda Unsworth, told the Courier Mail.
His mother said Tyrone was a happy, cheeky boy on the outside – with ambitions of being a vet or fashion designer – but suffered so much that he said he never wanted to go back to school.
She said Tyrone’s mantra for dealing with bullying was ‘sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me’.
“Obviously they ended up getting him,” she said, "they pushed him to the edge.”
Family and friends in Brisbane are heartbroken.
“I just wanted him to wake up and come home with me,” Ms Unsworth wrote on Facebook after viewing her son’s body at Queensland forensic facility.
“I know your [sic] pain free now son and they can’t pick on you anymore, but this shouldn't of had to happen,” she wrote.
“No words can explain how we are feeling for you and what has happened.”
But even in death Tyrone didn’t escape bullying – a fake social media profile was created in his name which his mother found online.
“You have no bloody right doing this, our son is dead,” she wrote on Facebook.
Tyrone was hospitalised a month ago after a violent incident, allegedly involving another school student, which occurred off school grounds.
Amanda Unsworth claimed her son was hit in the jaw with a fence pole so hard that he required surgery.
Queensland Police confirmed with SBS that there is an ongoing investigation into an alleged assault, but as it related to minors, they were reluctant to go into further detail.
His mother told the Courier Mail that he did not want to return to school, Aspley State High School in Brisbane's north.
SBS understands a funeral for the 13-year-old will be held next week on Thursday, December 1.
Tyrone’s mother has asked attendees to wear brightly coloured clothes.
Jacquita Miller, Principal at Aspley State High School, held a media conference today and released a statement.
"In relation to bullying, let me be very clear: no allegation of bullying against this young person was made to our school."
"Neither the student nor his family ever came to us to say there was a problem of any kind. If they did, we absolutely would have stepped in," she said.
"Our deepest sympathies are with this young person’s family, friends, loved ones and everyone who has been affected including his peers," the principal said.
The Queensland Government does not list which schools are members of the Safe Schools program, which aims to prevent LGBT+ bullying, but SBS understands that Aspley State High School does not participate in the program.
The Queensland Government does sponsor a national, more general anti-bullying campaign called Bullying. No Way!
The Department of Education has sent several guidance and support officers to the school to assist staff and students.