Queensland Mum Suing Daughter's High School
Joanne and Michael Piva have had to endure what no parent of any teenager should.
In 2015, their beloved 16-year-old daughter Breannah took her own life after being ruthlessly bullied for nine years. She was thrown in front of a car, hospitalised on numerous occasions, and lived in fear from the bullies.
Breannah attended Ayr High School in North Queensland and was subject to verbal and physical abuse. She was also taunted at work and harassed walking up the street.
Mr Piva told Nine News that he "constantly complained" to the school, however, "nothing was done". Breannah had also made more than 20 complaints to school authorities over a period of three years.
Sarah Sarinas from Shine Lawyers is representing the family.
"She was struggling to cope," she told Nine News. "She was reaching out for help and support and she was let down time and time again by the school. They were aware of the problem and they didn't fix it."
Breannah had come home bruised and with black eyes on a number of occasions.
"I have taken her to hospital and to the police, but the police say they can’t charge anyone because they’re under 17," Mrs Piva told the news outlet.
"She got one message from a boy on her phone saying if she didn’t kill herself he would kill her. But police say they couldn’t prove who exactly sent the message as the owner of the phone blamed someone else."
The Piva family have set up a foundation called "Do It For Bree" which has produced a free online anti-bullying program for schools.
"We believe lives could have been saved if they had taken notice. More families could have been spared what we have gone through."
Donate to Do It For Bree here.
Readers seeking support and information about suicide prevention can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.