Indonesian high school student expelled over TikTok insulting Palestinians

Video screengrab of a girl from Bengkulu who was expelled from school after she posted a TikTok insulting Palestine.
Video screengrab of a girl from Bengkulu who was expelled from school after she posted a TikTok insulting Palestine.

There seems to be an ongoing trend on Indonesian TikTok involving young people bashing Palestine and its people, one of which resulted in the expulsion of a grade 11 high school student in Bengkulu recently.

In her video, the girl called Palestinians “pigs” and that they deserve to be massacred. It’s not clear if the content was intended as some sick, ignorant joke, but it contains a nearly identical message to a TikTok by a young man in West Nusa Tenggara (NTB), who may face up to six years in prison for violating the Information and Electronic Transactions Act (UU ITE).

Related — Indonesian man arrested for mocking Palestine says he meant to insult Israel

Though the Bengkulu girl did not face criminal charges, local police came to her school and educated students about the dangers of hate speech. The girl also posted a public apology.

“I apologize to the state of Palestine and its people for my statement on TikTok. I promise to accept the consequences,” she said. 

One of those consequences is expulsion from her school, following a decision by the local education board.

“Her actions scarred the reputation of education in Central Bengkulu, and the solution is for the school to return her to her parents,” Central Bengkulu Education Board head Adang Parlindungan said yesterday.

The Association for Education and Teachers (P2G) criticized her expulsion, saying that the video was an expression of teenage angst. The group also said much of the blame should fall on her teachers for keeping her ignorant about the plight of Palestinians.

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