A mother whose daughter’s nose was fractured in a schoolyard attack says she feels her family has received more punishment following the assault than the bully.
Rosanne Sorensen said the girl who injured her daughter Shelby, 13, at Maitland Grossmann High on November 15 was originally given a 10 day suspension, which was lifted this week to 20 days.
Meanwhile Ms Sorensen and Shelby were left feeling she would be unsafe at school and they had no option but to keep her home and working through two booklets of tasks while they looked for a solution.
“Why should my child miss out on getting an education when she was the one who was beat up for no reason?” Ms Sorensen asked.
“She needs to be at school, but I want her to feel safe and happy there.
“This isn’t fair.
“I feel like the other child should be taken out of school, especially with the level of violence involved.
“When you’ve done nothing wrong and you’re getting punished, something is not right and something has got to change.”
A spokesperson for the Department of Education said it has a “zero tolerance policy towards violence, bullying or harassment of any kind”.
“The school’s priority at present is meeting with the victim’s family to create a safety plan to ensure the student and her parents are comfortable with returning to class,” the spokesperson said.
“Every student has the right to feel safe at school.
“Unfortunately, the school is yet to identify who filmed the attack, however once they are identified they will be subject to the school’s discipline code.”
Ms Sorensen said she had been waiting all week for promised calls from the department.
The Herald contacted the department on Thursday night. Ms Sorenson said she received calls from the department on Friday and was offered a meeting on Monday.
The school also sent extra work home on Friday and offered Shelby counselling.
Shelby said she didn’t “ever” want to go back.
“There were two videos that have gone around Australia and New Zealand so I don’t want to go to any other school because it is just going to happen again.
“I want to be a vet - it’s a dream I’ve had since preschool. We’d like to look at distance education.”
Shelby said peers told her on the morning of the attack the other girl “is going to bash you”.
“She was grabbing my hair and pulling me down,” she said.
“I was on the ground and she was belting into me.
“I have a fractured nose and after two weeks it still hurts a lot. I lost all my friends and that hurts too.”
Ms Sorensen said Shelby had blood behind her contact lens, meaning she couldn’t wear them for four days.
She also couldn’t wear glasses because of her fractured nose.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.