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EDITED 12.08PM MAY 8, 2013
Peter Milne is head of Electric Canvas in Sydney, an innovator and a career technician with vision. He is in mourning after the senseless death of his daughter Maddie on Anzac Day. She took her own life, after an episode of bullying at Asquith Girls High School in Sydney’s north.
The story is on the News Limited website here.
Peter tells News that his girl started Year 8 in February and had something happen in a math class which he says was possibly that she stood up for someone else who was being bullied. He tried to glean what was troubling her, as she became withdrawn. She didn’t want to go to Westfield, lest she run into whomever was tormenting her.
He called the school, they were busy, the circumstances are still unclear.
What is obvious is that at a very young age, Madeleine took her own life.
From reading this horrible story, it seems no one can under estimate the private torment that can affect those less prepared, and that our kids don’t have all the defense mechanisms we take for granted. While there is no information about whether social media played a part in this tragedy, it is so pervasive that we need to be more vigilant than ever.
CX polled a group of parents recently about their young folk and use of online media. Most did not realise that iPods, for example, are a wifi device with a Safari browser, and that their kids can be online with anyone anytime. Often in the dark, in bed alone.
We offer our most inadequate and humble condolences to Valery and Peter Milne along with their son Harry.
FOOTNOTE: A flurry of correspondence and an outpouring of distress followed this news. One thing parents say in addition to the online nature of mobiles and iPods – watch out for Minecraft and other Playstation or XBox or Wii games. These often have other ‘players’ who are anonymous from anywhere in the world. If you hear your kid on a headset, they may be talking to someone who is <not> a friend.
Several people suggested a timer on the wi-fi or router in the home, so the devices all go offline at bedtime. If your young person has a mobile, don’t let it into the bedroom.
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