A boy in China suffering from a highly infectious viral disease has been forced by his schoolmates to eat feces.
The bullying, which occurred in Beijing’s Yanqing No. 2 Middle School, was recorded in footage that quickly went viral in Chinese social media on Saturday.
In stills of the video, the boy is seen touching, grabbing and putting feces from a squat toilet into his mouth.
Disgusted netizens quickly condemned the incident, while Yanqing’s education commission launched an investigation, Shanghai Daily reported.
According to Yanqing police, the bullies also extorted more than 100 yuan (over $15) from the victim and beat him before making him eat the excrement.
And as if things aren’t bad already, the victim was reportedly suffering from infantile paralysis, also known as poliomyelitis (or simply polio).
Polio is a potentially fatal viral disease that invades the nervous system and consequently, in some cases, causes paralysis. It may only be prevented through vaccination, but not cured.
According to the CDC, it is often transmitted when a person ingests feces from another infected individual. This makes it possible that the victim had already been in contact with such before the reported incident.
There were seven students involved in the bullying, five of which were fined but exempted from administrative detention as they were under 16. The two other bullies, both under 14, were not punished at all.
Meanwhile, the boy is scheduled to receive psychological counseling, as per the school’s arrangement.