Students in 'bullying' clip get counselling
SHUQUN Secondary School has investigated a case of alleged bullying that took place in one of its classrooms and is counselling the students involved.
A 52-second video clip of the incident that has been viewed more than 274,000 times showed a male student from the school hitting two others on their heads repeatedly.
Both victims kept their heads bowed and did not retaliate. Another male student was seen dancing on the teacher's table in the background while the bullying went on.
The video, which appears to have been filmed by another student and was first posted on the Facebook page of citizen news site All Singapore Stuff yesterday, was also shared more than 9,100 times.
Replying to queries, the school in Jurong East said yesterday that the student "deeply regrets his actions".
"What might first begin as playfulness could potentially end up hurting others," a spokesman said.
"The school will continue to work with the students involved on observing appropriate boundaries and behaviour in the future."
The school did not elaborate on the actions it had taken but said parents of the boys involved had been informed of those.
Bullying is an often repeated behaviour, physical or verbal, that involves aggression towards another, usually of inferior status.
The Straits Times understands that all the students in the video are classmates in the same Secondary 3 Normal (Technical) class.
A Secondary 3 Express student at the school, who knows the students involved but would not give his name, said: "They are just playing around, but the slapping part is a bit extreme."
Parents said schools need to take action against bullying. Edwin Lee, 47, a father of four boys aged 10 to 18, said that the student's actions were "outrageous" and "uncouth".
"This cannot be condoned anywhere, especially in a school. The boy must be sternly counselled and disciplined," said the lawyer, who added he was glad the school had taken action.
"His fellow classmates who stood by silently should also be spoken to, to educate them that they should stand up for one another."
Thomas Lee, medical director and consultant psychiatrist at The Resilienz Clinic, said: "School bullying is quite common, and it's not rare for victims to keep quiet, for fear of making the situation worse.
"Sitting there quietly probably indicates that the boy has been bullied before and he has learnt to be helpless. As you show more signs of being victimised, the bully gets bolder."
Dr Lee also noted that prolonged bullying can lead to long-term psychological trauma that could persist into adulthood if left unaddressed.
"Even if the student who is hitting others turns out to have special needs, he also needs to be counselled, so that he is aware of social norms and knows what is right and wrong," he added.
Additional reporting by Lee Min Kok