The time to act on bullying was yesterday
THIS is an invitation no parent should ever have to send - that the bullies who made their child's life hell attend her funeral service to see the "complete devastation" they've caused.
But the father of 14-year-old 'Dolly' Amy Jayne Everett, who took her own life in Warwick "to escape the evil in this world", is at pains to make a point.
Bullying has to stop.
Tick Everett is right, of course, but the question is how.
Programs, pleas and pledges are clearly not cutting through because Dolly is one of many children for whom life is not a gift but an unbearable burden.
Alarmingly, there has not been a significant reduction in the incidence of youth suicide since the 1990s, according to Kim Borrowdale, deputy chief executive of Suicide Prevention Australia, who identifies a disturbing trend in girls turning to "lethal means" when self-harming.
These are children, children on the cusp of a future which should offer so much promise and potential.
That's what any parent would wish for the baby they brought into the world and nurtured through the milestones of childhood.
The notion that this precious life might one day be snuffed out seems impossible. Ludicrous even.
Yet these tragedies are real and all too common.
Brisbane boy Tyrone Unsworth took his life after homophobic bullying in November 2016. He was 13.
In December 2015 Melbourne girl Cassidy Trevan suicided, two years after being allegedly gang-raped in a malicious set-up by girls who had tormented her for years. She was 15.
As a community we can rage at this social scourge, but we need governments to invest more wisely in tackling it and help parents and educators in raising children who are considerate, kind and acutely aware of the consequences of their actions.
For example, why are excellent programs such as KidsMatter - which has the mantra "cool to be kind" - only implemented in select schools? As it stands today, a meagre 104 Australian schools (88 of them in Queensland) have successfully completed the course requirements.
If it takes attending the funeral of a victimised child to make bullies wake up, then by all means send out the funeral invitations.
But the severity of this crisis demands that so much more be done. The time to act was yesterday.
Lifeline Australia 131114
Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800
Beyond Blue 1300 22 4636