A shocking video featuring four young female students bullying and hitting their schoolmate with a toilet brush caused controversy in Singapore.
The footage showed students from Assumption Pathway School, a specialized secondary school intended for students who have failed their post-primary education examinations, ganging up on a special needs student. Forced to crouch on the floor with a trash bag over her body, the victim was subjected to abuse, including being scrubbed with a toilet brush on her face.
Believed to be filmed on Thursday, the 29-second clip emerged on social media on Friday morning via a post from internet vigilante group SMRT Feedback.
During the attack, the victim attempted to get up, but she was pushed against the wall by one of the girls. The bullies continued the harassment as the same girl with the toilet brush proceeded to scrub the victim’s groin area, chest, and face.
They also placed a toilet seat around the poor girl’s neck before one of the bullies started flipping the toilet seat up and down on her face.
Case of bullying at Assumption Pathway School. The girl with the toilet brush, her instagram username: babyiraa_ (already taken down). If you have information on those involved, let us know. pic.twitter.com/it14HuuqXS
— SMRT Feedback (@smrtsg) April 12, 2018
It did not take long before internet vigilantes exposed the identity of the girl who forced the toilet brush to the victim’s face and body.
Before taking down her Instagram account, the bully posted a statement which appears to be making light of the incident.
“I was okay with that girl, just that I was too harsh,” she wrote.
Dismissing the online criticism she was getting after being outed on social media, she stated that the girl said there was no need to apologize because apparently, she and the victim are “okay.”
A teacher named Norashsikin Radzelee, 29, immediately wrote about the incident and notified the police after coming across the video on Twitter.
“As a parent myself, if this were to happen to my child, I would be upset and worked up,” Norashsikin, a teacher by profession, was quoted as saying.
When her post went viral, Norashsikin said some netizens tried to report her Facebook account as a fake profile in a bid for her post to be taken down.
Norashsikin also sent an email to the school board to report the incident directly.
As a response, Assumption Pathway School principal Eric Leong gave his assurance in an email that the bullies “will be dealt with appropriately” and that the well-being of the victim will be taken care of.
She would later reveal in an update that the victim’s parents have also lodged a police report and are building a case against the bullies.
Leong also told the Straits Times that “the actions in the video are unacceptable.”
Leong further stated that the offenders have been identified and given appropriate disciplinary action. The victim is also reportedly receiving “counseling and continued support” from the school.
“We take a strong stand against bullying, and teach our students to care for others,” Leong noted. “We are also working with their parents to ensure that the offenders are made aware of the serious consequences of their behavior and that they will not repeat such behavior.”
One of the alleged bullies has since posted a public apology via a Facebook post on Friday.
“This incident has caused a lot of pain and trouble to me and my family, as well as other parties involved (sic),” the girl wrote. “I am owning up to my mistake and truly regret it.”
A study by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) last year placed Singapore in third place of having the highest rate of bullying in the world.
Feature Image via Twitter / smrtsg