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Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Madeleine Milne's tragic death

Over a few months, someone at school made 13 year old Madeleine Milne's life a living hell. She became so anxious and afraid, the thought of going back to school became too much and she took her own life.

If she had been murdered, someone would be held to account, but the person or persons responsible for her death will never be held to account, they get to live another day to single out another vulnerable child and make their life a misery.

Her devastated parents are left wondering what really happened, but they will never know, only the bullies and the teachers know what went on and they won't be telling anyone, it's their secret.

Oh I know what you're thinking, don't blame the school, kids have always been bullied, the teachers can't do anything about it.  But they can do something, they have the power to stop it and whatever anti-bullying measures they had in place, in this instance, didn't work.

Maddy's school, Asquith Girls' High on the affluent North Shore of Sydney has a good reputation and prides itself on being a leader in the education of young women.

Maddy became so anxious and withdrawn since an incident occurred earlier this year, she didn't want to leave the house in case she ran into someone from school and even refused to go to Westfield Hornsby mall with her family because the culprits might be there.

Mr Milne said "Eventually I got the form teacher to ring back, and she said action was taken, but wasn't sure what.  We were, and still are, very disappointed with the way the situation was handled."

The term ended, school holidays began and Maddy had a temporary reprieve but it was all too much.  She died on April 25 - Anzac Day - just a few days before classes were to resume.

Maddy loved the outdoor life, she skied, sailed and loved to snorkel. Her father said "She was a beautiful young girl, a very talented artist. She liked to draw dragons, I think she liked them and drew them a lot."

And her father's words will hit home to many a parent who reads this tragic story, he said "We all let our busy lives get in the way - the school was busy and didn't get back to us, we were busy, I'll just say make the time."

Her Memorial Service held on Saturday was packed.  Her father said she never knew how many friends she really had.  But nobody told her.