BULLYING: Daughters ‘not safe’ at their school
A PROTECTIVE older sibling who acted as a human barricade to keep her little sister safe from bullies, was suspended from school and banned from the semi formal.
Rockhampton State High student Zenaide Neinert took photos alongside her friends outside the gates of the event, with her ticket in hand, before being declined entry.
While the school had warned the Year 10 student wouldn't be able to celebrate completing the year alongside her peers, she turned up to the gates as a stance against bullying.
Her mother Kacee Neinert said Zenaide's punishment contradicted what the students were taught at school.
"They are told to stand up to bullies but when they do stand up to bullying and they do take a stance they get punished," Kacee said.
She referenced Dolly's Dream and the Speak Up Even if Your Voice Shakes campaign, which was created after 14-year-old Dolly Everett took her life after being bullied.
"I don't condone anyone to sit back and watch bullying and don't do anything about it," she said.
Ms Neinert said her girls were catching the bus home from school when a fellow student who had previously been suspended for hurting Zenaide's younger sister, Krysta, started to yell at her.
"It all started with one girl because Krysta looked at another young girl on the bus service," she said.
When the bus stopped, Zenaide held two metal bars in the walkway of the bus, putting herself between her sister and the bullies and told her sister to run home, according to their mother.
"The two students then belted punches and kicks into her back, shoulders, ribs and knees as she stood her ground so her sister could attempt to get home without being hurt," she said.
She said Zenaide fought the girls off by kicking them but it was only in self defence.
"The bus driver finally intervened and one girl got held back by her sister while the other chased down my daughter down the street and around the corner," she said.
"Finally she caught her two houses from home where she pushed her over to attack her but fortunately adults in the community intervened."
Zenaide was given a two-day suspension for the incident but what affected her most was being excluded from the school semi formal.
She said Zenaide doesn't know whether she should have protected her sister or let the bullies attack her.
"Do they understand what this has done to her emotionally?" she said.
A group of about 20 strangers also gathered by the gates of the semi formal in support of Zenaide after Ms Neinert posted the details about the incident on Facebook.
A Department of Education spokeswoman said the incident was being investigated.
"Every state school has a Responsible Behaviour Plans for Students, which is developed in consultation with the local community," the spokeswoman said.
"Students and caregivers with concerns are strongly encouraged to report cases of bullying or misconduct."
Ms Neinert said she could no longer trust the school to keep her children safe.
She has removed her daughters from the school.