Viral: 9th graders in Indonesia harass teacher by dancing in class and waving money at her

Photo: video screengrabs
Photo: video screengrabs

Indonesia has seen countless incidents of student-on-teacher harassment (and vice versa) go viral online, which highlight a disturbing culture of violence in the country’s schools. This week, another disturbing viral video from Jakarta has triggered outrage across the nation.

The video, which recently went viral after being shared by popular Instagram gossip account Lambe Turah, shows a group of 11 ninth graders at a middle school in North Jakarta provocatively dancing around their teacher and waving money at her (a practice known as sawer in dangdut shows, akin to making it rain at a strip club). One of the boys had even removed his shirt before he climbed up on the teacher’s desk to dance on it.

The North Jakarta Education Board confirmed that the incident took place at a middle school in the Cilincing sub-district last Friday.

According to the school’s principal, Frans Hendrik Garang, the boys had just changed back to their uniforms after PE and returned to their classroom for environmental studies with the teacher, who is a temporary employee and has only taught at the school for one year.

“It’s not that the teacher is young or that the student’s didn’t respect her, but, according to the students, they did all this just for fun,” Frans told Kompas yesterday.

Frans added that two female students who were in the classroom filmed the harassment using their phones, with one video going viral. He said the teacher eventually managed to take control of the class and the lesson resumed as normal after the events in the video.

“[The boys later] apologized to the teacher, the school, and the North Jakarta Education Board,” Frans said.

The 11 boys have not received any disciplinary sanctions thus far, but the North Jakarta Education Board may do so pending a formal investigation.

This is far from the first incident of student-on-teacher harassment in recent memory. In 2018, an art teacher in Madura, East Java, died after being hit by one of his students. The past few years have also seen stories other stories about students beating teachers and even attacking them with weapons, as well as at least one incident of a student murdering a teacher over bad grades.

Conversely, teacher-on-student violence is also quite prevalent in Indonesia. One of the most viral cases last year took place in April, when a teacher in Purwokerto, Central Java, became a criminal suspect for child abuse after a video of him slapping one of his students hard went viral.

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