SINGAPORE: Disciplinary action has been taken against the Assumption Pathway students who were seen bullying another girl in a video that has been circulating online.
"The actions in the video are unacceptable," said the school's principal Mr Eric Leong on Friday (Apr 13) in response to Channel NewsAsia's queries.
"We take a strong stand against bullying, and teach our students to care for others. We have since identified the offenders and taken immediate disciplinary action," he added.
The victim is said to be a special needs student, according to Facebook user Norashsikin Radzelee who uploaded the video.
She said she shared the video after seeing it on Twitter and recorded it off the screen, because she wanted to draw attention to the “atrocious” behaviour of the bullies.
The video, which appeared to be an Instagram story, shows a girl wearing the Assumption Pathway school uniform, holding a toilet brush and attempting to scrub the victim's body and mouth with it.
Another girl then hung a toilet seat around the victim's neck, while a third student was filmed pushing the victim.
The victim is seen wearing a black trash bag over her uniform.
The caption that accompanied the video, written in Malay, reads: "We are busy bullying this mentally retarded kid here." Throughout the 30-second video, the girls can be heard laughing while bullying the victim.
It is unclear when or where the incident took place.
Ms Norashsikin told Channel NewsAsia she “couldn't believe that people found her (the girl with the brush) actions funny on Twitter ... and some of her friends were supporting her".
"As a teacher myself, I don't condone such things. I was outraged and didn't find it funny at all," she added.
Ms Norashsikin’s friend, who wanted to be known only as Dana, lodged a police report on Friday morning. The 31-year-old said that she felt she had a responsibility to inform the authorities about the incident.
"I can't sit back after watching and sharing the incident online - I knew I had to do something. Therefore, the most legal way of doing it is to report to the police immediately," said Dana.
The principal said the school has reached out to the students' parents.
"We are working with their parents to ensure that the offenders are made aware of the serious consequences of their behaviour, and that they will not repeat such behaviour," said Mr Leong.
"We are also providing counselling and continued support to the victim."
Channel NewsAsia has reached out to the police for more information.
REVIEW ABUSE REPORTING PROCESSES: DISABLED PEOPLE'S ASSOCIATION
The case has prompted the Disabled People's Association (DPA) to call for a review of abuse reporting processes in mainstream and special education schools.
"This act was detected and reported because it was shared on Twitter, but how many other cases of discrimination motivated bullying go unnoticed because the perpetrators don’t post videos online?" said DPA president Richard Kuppusamy in a statement on Saturday.
"DPA has urged authorities to simplify abuse reporting mechanisms so that they are more accessible to persons with cognitive impairments and intellectual disabilities. Sharing materials about reporting bullying and abuse in easy read format can help those with Intellectual disabilities," he added.