Bullies leave Mackay schoolgirl with broken bones
ANIEK Aardoom can no longer play sport and her dream of becoming a Navy paramedic seems a long way away after she was thrown down a flight of stairs in a fight at her high school last year.
The 16-year-old suffered a broken tail bone then, and in an incident just months later at Mackay State High School, said her nose was broken by a punch to the face.
Mum Jodie pulled Aniek out of school and turned to home schooling in a bid to protect her daughter.
She hopes authorities at the beleaguered school take action to fix what she says is ongoing and aggressive bullying, after video footage showed a mass brawl on the school grounds this week.
"The impact that these [students] have had on Aniek's life, on other girl's lives, they change the course of families," she said.
More than 2500 Queensland children are now educated at home - more than double the figure of five years ago - according to official Government figures.
Experts say the surge is being fuelled by a bullying crisis in Queensland schools, with a growing number of frustrated parents turning themselves into teachers because they have run out of options.
Aniek, who was in Year 11 during the two incidents last year, said other students would give her dirty looks every day and call her expletives when she walked past.
In March, she claimed the group threatened to "bash" her. Video footage of a lunch hour confrontation that day (the stills are pictured on the left) shows Aniek surrounded by a group of students.
"I got thrown down the stairs and they were all on top of me punching me," she said.
Aniek's mum rushed her to the hospital, where they found out she had a broken tail bone.
"Aniek wanted to be a paramedic in the Navy, that's all she wants to do, and now we need to get clearance for her broken tail bone... she had to quit all her sport," Ms Aardoom said.
"From an active girl who played sport four or five days a week to nothing.
"She couldn't go to parties, if she went to parties they would throw thongs at her."
The avid soccer player shut down her social media profiles because she said she was being targeted online, including being added to Facebook Messenger group chats where she felt threatened.
Ms Aardoom said it included threatening to "bash your head in with a baseball bat until your brains fall out".
Although "emotionally drained", Aniek returned to school.
But in August she was assaulted again. A girl punched her in the face during a confrontation and broke her nose, she said.
"I want the public to know, I want the Department of Education to know," Ms Aardoom said, adding more needed to be done to keep kids safe. "No one sees any action against bullying, cyberbullying, none, they get suspended for a week then nothing happens."
Education Queensland "will not comment on specific cases" due to student privacy, however, a spokesman said Mackay State High School was "committed to providing a safe, respectful and disciplined learning environment for students and staff, where bullying is not tolerated".
"The school works closely with students and families to address any reported bullying concerns," the spokesman said.