Six students have been arrested in connection with a bullying incident captured in videos that went viral, local media reported Monday.
The arrestees, aged 12 to 14, were captured physically assaulting a girl wearing a school uniform at a shopping center in Cheung Sha Wan on June 15. Videos show the 13-year-old girl backed into a corner of the stairwell as others slapped her across the face repeatedly, grabbed her by the neck and banged her head against a wall. They also used the metal lid of a sand bucket, used to extinguish fires, to hit the girl and demanded that she eat the sand.
The students involved attend a secondary school in Sham Shui Po. The school said in a statement that it “absolutely does not tolerate bullying” and that it has set up a crisis management team to investigate the case.
“We deeply regret this incident,” the school said, adding that the students involved will bear the consequences of their actions.
The students have been released on bail and are required to report back to police next month. More arrests are possible, authorities said.
The girl’s father, who reported the incident to police on Saturday said he had observed signs of injury on her daughter last week. Upon asking, the girl lied and said she had fallen down. She only revealed the incident after her father saw the videos that had been forwarded to him.
He told Apple Daily that he was worried the incident would happen again, but that her daughter does not want to change schools. “Of course I’m angry,” he said, adding that he would “get to the bottom of this.”
Over 200 cases of school bullying in were reported in 2017-2018, the most recent academic year for which figures have been published by Education Bureau. A quarter of the incidents took place in special needs schools.
Last year, a school in Ma On Shan found itself in the spotlight after videos circulated of students pinning down a schoolboy and spanking him. Eight students were arrested.
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