The mother of a bullied teen who was attacked by a group of boys armed with spanners outside a Melbourne school has spoken of the affect it has had on her son.
Quinn Lahiff-Jenkins, who has autism, was attacked by five other teens in a shocking attack which was captured on camera.
The footage, obtained by the Australia's Herald Sun, is now being investigated by police.
Speaking to Melbourne radio station 3AW's Neil Mitchell this morning, Carmen Lahiff-Jenkins said that while her son was physically OK she now feared for his mental health.
"It's early days," she told Mitchell.
"He has the support of all his family and an amazing community — but it's his mental health we're really worried about."
The concerned mother said her son was a privileged young man with the world at his fingertips and worried it would have a lasting effect on him.
"We see autism as a wonderful part of his personality and not a disability," she said.
"It's exciting the world has people like Quinn who think differently and we hope he doesn't lose that spark and stays shiny and bright."
Lahiff-Jenkins also said she wanted the boys behind the attack to be helped and that bullying wasn't just limited to five specific kids.
"It's everyone's kids — it's a problem we need to address," she said.
Mitchell said he admired her compassion but said incidents like this made him question the great Australian ethos of having a fair go.
The harrowing video shows the 14-year-old being pulled off his bike as the youths surround him outside Northcote High School, north of the CBD.
A second boy is also attacked as he tries to intervene.
One youth pins him to the ground while others punch and kick his body.
The teens, who attack him with spanners, shout, "Have you got a problem?" as he tries to defend himself against the blows.
A spokesman for Victoria Police confirmed it was investigating the assault, which occurred on St Georges Rd, Northcote, at about 3.45pm yesterday.
"Investigators have been told a boy was assaulted by a group of teenagers," the spokesman said.
Police also confirmed the teenager suffered bruising to his face and legs, and was taken to hospital.
He could not comment further due to the ongoing investigation.
Lahiff-Jenkin said her son, who was back in mainstream school this year, was now too scared to go outside.
She told the Herald Sun Quinn rode his bike to school to confront bullies who had targeted him and another friend who is also on the autism spectrum.
Quinn told his mother the group had called him homophobic names and wanted to protect his friend.
WHERE TO GET HELP:
If you are worried about your or someone else's mental health, the best place to get help is your GP or local mental health provider. However, if you or someone else is in danger or endangering others, call police immediately on 111.
OR IF YOU NEED TO TALK TO SOMEONE ELSE:
• LIFELINE: 0800 543 354 (available 24/7)
• SUICIDE CRISIS HELPLINE: 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO) (available 24/7)
• YOUTHLINE: 0800 376 633
• NEED TO TALK? Free call or text 1737 (available 24/7)
• KIDSLINE: 0800 543 754 (available 24/7)
• WHATSUP: 0800 942 8787 (1pm to 11pm)
• DEPRESSION HELPLINE: 0800 111 757