The day before bullied 13-year-old Brisbane High School student Tyrone Unsworth took his life, he told a close friend that other kids had told him to ‘go kill yourself’.
Gypsie-Lee Edwards Kennard told the ABC’s 7:30 program that Tyrone said he never wanted to go back to Aspley State High School again.
“He was an absolute mess, crying his eyes out and telling me everyone wants him dead and I said, 'Tyrone, what do you mean everyone wants you dead?',” she told the program.
“He said: 'the kids at school keep telling me to go kill myself'.”
At the time, Tyrone Unsworth had been off school recovering from injuries sustained after being beaten with a fence pole – a matter under police investigation.
The friend told him he should speak with teachers at the school about the bullying.
“They don't care,” was Tyrone's response.
“He just felt like no-one wanted him around and he didn't belong,” Ms Edwards Kennard said.
Friends and family say Tyrone suffered taunts of ‘gay boy’ ‘faggot’ and ‘fairy’ for years at school, though the school says the bullying was never raised with them.
According to Beyond Blue, same-sex attracted Australians have a rate of suicide which is 14x higher than average.
The average age of an LGBT+ suicide attempt is 16 years, often before the individual has ‘come out’ to most friends and family.
On the week of Tyrone’s death, the school’s principal released a statement.
“Our deepest sympathies are with this young person’s family, friends, loved ones and everyone who has been affected including his peers,” Jacquita Miller said.
“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.
The school has refused repeated media requests for an interview from SBS and other networks.
Schools in Queensland which take part in the Safe Schools anti-LGBT+ bulling program are not publicly listed for fear of controversy, but SBS understands that Aspley State High School is not a member.
On Sunday LGBT+ advocates gathered in Brisbane in a show of support, calling on all schools to take part in the Safe Schools program.