Warning: This article is about suicide and may be distressing for some readers.
The family of a teenage boy who attempted to take his own life last week said their son had suffered ongoing bullying because of his religious beliefs.
The 14-year-old Muslim boy was rushed to Auckland Hospital on Monday evening after his parents found him at home.
He was under observation at hospital for three days before he was discharged into the care of his parents.
Through a family spokesperson, his mother and father said they felt ill-equipped to care for their son at home without support.
"They are tired and stressed and so is he. He has been sent home to the same place where he tried to take his life," the friend said.
"He is still not well and they are very worried for him."
The teen was enrolled at an Auckland secondary school but hadn't attended since late last year because he said the bullying had become so bad.
He had started attending another alternative education facility.
The spokesperson said the school, which the Herald on Sunday has not named, was aware of at least some of the bullying.
A family spokesperson said the bullying escalated at the end of last year and the boy took a knife to school to "protect himself".
In a letter explaining his actions, the boy said he had been beaten up, threatened via text message and phone and had been called many things, including ISIS and a terrorist.
At one stage he said some boys held a knife to his throat.
"He was getting regular text messages and phone calls from other students that threatened to kill him," the family friend said.
"He was badly under pressure and blocked their numbers. For these reasons he is under treatment by a GP and a psychologist."
The spokesperson claimed there was very little communication from the school, even when the boy told friends in an email that he was considering killing himself.
"Luckily, his friends informed the school about his suicide plans," the man said.
"Very disappointingly, the only thing the school had done at that stage was to call his parents for a meeting and asked them to take their son home for the rest of the school year."
The spokesperson said the family had tried desperately to get the young boy help but felt they had little support.
"The family can't speak the language very well and they don't know much about their rights in New Zealand.
"For that reason, they relied on the school."
The school principal said the school could not comment on individual students but said bullying was unacceptable.
"The safety and wellbeing of our students and staff is our top priority. Bullying in any form is unacceptable and we work hard to create a positive environment that supports bullying prevention in our school," the principal said.
"We have robust systems in place so students and families know who to talk to if they have any concerns."
Katrina Casey from the Ministry of Education confirmed a complaint about bullying had been received from the family on February 11.
"We worked with the school to discuss the issues raised and we communicated with the family spokesperson on several occasions to provide information about the supports the school were providing," Casey said.
"Every child and young person should feel safe at school. We expect every school to create a culture that promotes positive behaviour, wellbeing and reduces behaviours that disrupt learning."
Casey said if a parent was concerned about the wellbeing of their child at school, they were encouraged them to make use of the school's formal complaints process in the first instance.
"If they remain concerned after that process, they can contact our local office for advice."
Where to get help:
• Lifeline: 0800 543 354 (available 24/7)
• Suicide Crisis Helpline: 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO) (available 24/7)
• Youthline: 0800 376 633
• Kidsline: 0800 543 754 (available 24/7)
• Whatsup: 0800 942 8787 (1pm to 11pm)
• Depression helpline: 0800 111 757 (available 24/7)
If it is an emergency and you feel like you or someone else is at risk, call 111.