Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

{SEND YOUR KIDS TO SCHOOL OR WE'LL SEND THE COPS} {Department Serves Ultimatum to Home-School Mother}; Education Queensland Delivers Final Warning to Protective Gracemere Mum

Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

{SEND YOUR KIDS TO SCHOOL OR WE'LL SEND THE COPS} {Department Serves Ultimatum to Home-School Mother}; Education Queensland Delivers Final Warning to Protective Gracemere Mum

Article excerpt

Byline: Amy Formosa amy.formosa@capnews.com.au

KERRI Mooney isn't sending her children back to school, despite Education Queensland threatening legal action.

"They sent me a letter saying if I don't contact them within seven days they will get the police onto us," Ms Mooney said yesterday.

The Gracemere mother of seven said her eldest son Drew was punched in the face three times in 12 months, and it was only a mother's natural instinct to pull her child out of school.

In fact the bullying was so upsetting for her 10-year-old that she decided to home-school her three school-age children two years ago.

"I slowly started to get him back into school before it got too hard for him and I needed to protect my child's safety," Ms Mooney said.

She said her eldest daughter Laila-Jayne was also being bullied by some of the girls in her class.

Ms Mooney, who was severely bullied as a child herself, was told she had to register through Education Queensland to home-school her children, but she refused.

"They failed their duty of care once when the kids were at school, so I didn't want to take any more risks," she said.

Kerri said the latest letter she had received from the department threatened to prosecute her if she didn't make contact in seven days.

"They told me they would seek the director-general's consent to prosecute me and, if approved, my case would be handed to the police, who will take steps to prosecute me," Kerri said.

Yesterday Kerri said she had contacted Gracemere Police about the matter and was waiting on a phone call back.

Robert Osmak, president of the Home Schooling Association in Brisbane, said the bullying crisis in schools was becoming more brutal.

"I have had reports from mums whose kids have had their head smashed against walls, kicks to the groin, kids that have been punched in the nose and come home with black eyes," Mr Osmak said. …

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