Students ‘Attack’ Alleged Bully Over Viral Video

Prime Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama said yesterday, he was sickened and outraged when he saw the video.
03 Mar 2020 09:40
Students ‘Attack’ Alleged Bully Over Viral Video
Ratu Kadavu School. Photo: Kelera Sovasiga

One of the four bullies who allegedly assaulted a younger fellow Ratu Kadavulevu School student last year, was allegedly beaten up on Sunday by some students who meted out their own version of justice.

The student allegedly featured in a video which went viral on social media, last Sunday.

Prime Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama said yesterday, he was sickened and outraged when he saw the video.

“It broke my heart – I saw my own children and grandchildren in him, as I am sure that all parents did,” Mr Bainimarama said.

“While Police are investigating the matter, let me be clear: Fiji should have zero-tolerance for this merciless behaviour.

“But teachers alone can’t stop abuse. This is a breakdown in our social values, and we need to fight it at every level – from Government, school and at home.”

He said students who preyed on the vulnerable as easy targets for picking on or beating were cowards.

He pleaded with parents and teachers to develop a culture of kindness, respect, trust and love.

Yesterday, the Year 11 student who was beaten up on Sunday, was taken to the Korovou Police Station in Tailevu, for questioning, sporting an elbow injury that he allegedly sustained in the attack.

Questions were being asked yesterday by other parents why he was at school, when the other three alleged bullies were expelled.

The Deputy Secretary for Education, Timoci Bure, and two Social Welfare officers from Suva met with the principal and the school management at the school in Lodoni, Tailevu, yesterday to discuss the issue.

The principal, Arvind Prasad, referred Fiji Sun queries to Mr Bure.

Mr Bure declined to comment saying that a statement would be issued later.

The statement said: “The Ministry of Education strongly condemns violence in any form, and in view of the recent cases reported by the media, would like to reiterate and reinforce that there is a zero-tolerance policy on any form of violence or abuse in school.”

“Once an incident is reported, it is mandatory for Heads of School to report the matter to the Fiji Police Force, to take the students for medical examination, and duly inform the parents of the concerning children.

“The Heads of Schools are tasked by the Ministry to take up such responsibilities and ownership. Any incident that is in breach of the disciplinary policy should be reported by the Heads of Schools to the ministry within the first hour of the incident.,” the statement said.

The parents of the victim in the video said that they were not informed of the alleged assault last year. They said they only got to know of it, when a relative showed them the video on Sunday. They have now reported the matter to the Police. Fiji Sun enquires reveal that the ministry and the Police were also not notified at the time of the alleged incident that happened in term one of last year.

But last Sunday’s incident was reported to the Police by the school, straight after it happened. The grandparents of the victim claimed he said his attackers used the same method that was seen in the video. The attackers allegedly used a table leg to assault him. The student’s grandparents questioned the teachers why they failed to protect him when the video came out.

Members of the student’s family went to the school yesterday, obtained his clearance and took him home after his appearance at the Korovou Police Station.

Other parents turned up at the school yesterday to check on the safety and welfare of their children at school.

Police are continuing their investigations.

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

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