Alex Wildman … took his own life.Bullying by fellow students played a ”significant” role in a 14-year-old boy’s decision to take his own life, a NSW coroner has found.
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Alex Wildman was found dead by his mother, Justine Kelly, in the garage of the Lismore family home early on Friday morning July 25 in 2008.

Today, the deputy state coroner Malcolm MacPherson found that the NSW Department of Education’s policies to protect students from bullying had ”failed” in Alex’s case.

”The question is why did the system fail Alex?” Mr MacPherson said at Glebe Coroner’s Court.

He detailed the months of verbal and physical bullying to which the Year 9 boy was subjected in the lead up to his death, including an assault on Kadina High School grounds two days prior.

There were also online threats and ”hurtful and spiteful” taunts from fellow students.

Alex was called ”mono nut”, ”gay”, a ”dickhead” and a ”faggot”.

”On 23 July 2008, in front of a large number of other students, [two students whose names cannot be published for legal reasons] assaulted Alex at Kadina by grabbing his hair and hitting him in the face and head,” Mr MacPherson said.

”Two days later Alex was dead.”

The Coroner made nine recommendations, including that public schools with 500 or more students employ a full-time counsellor and that a dedicated email address, text message and/or chatroom accounts be established for all schools where students and parents can report bullying.

He also recommended compulsory meetings of school executives take place when students who have previously seen a school counsellor transfer to another school.

Mr MacPherson said the department should revise its anti-bullying policies to make it clear when police should be called to deal with physical assaults, threats and intimidation.

He said the Police Force should consider employing more school liaison officers.

After the findings were handed down, Alex’s mother and his stepfather Bill Kelly, who were at the court, asked the media to respect their privacy.

Those seeking support and information about suicide prevention can contact Lifeline on 131114 or SANE Helpline on 1800 18 SANE (7263).