SINGAPORE: The Primary 5 pupils behind a recent bullying incident at Mee Toh School have been counselled and disciplined accordingly, the school's principal Mrs Wang-Tan Sun Sun said on Wednesday (Mar 11).
"The students responsible for the unkind acts, except for one who was on sick leave, have been counselled and disciplined accordingly," she said. "They regret their actions and have apologised to the victim."
She added: "After the school was informed of the incident, we started investigations. Within three working days, the investigations were completed and disciplinary actions were decided."
She described the pupils' actions as "unacceptable", and said that they went against the values the school stood for.
The bullying incident at the Punggol school came to light after the victim's sister took to Twitter to speak about it.
She posted photos of notes thrown at her sister that had insults scrawled on them, such as "you are dumbo the elephant" and "you look so ugly and you really turn me down you make puke".
This was not the first time her sister had been bullied, the Twitter user said, adding that her uniform was scribbled on with markers in the past; the victim was also called names and cyberbullied.
She said there was "only a handful of Malays" in the school and her two sisters who went to the school had been the target of racist remarks.
She also said she contacted the school and teachers, but nothing was done.
Education Minister Ong Ye Kung then addressed the incident on his Facebook page, saying that it was "wrong and cannot be tolerated".
PARENTS INVOLVED ENGAGED
Mrs Wang-Tan said Mee Toh School had reached out to the parents of the children responsible for the bullying acts.
The parents, she said, understood the seriousness of their children’s actions.
"Together, we will work with the parents to ensure that the children learn from their mistakes," said Mrs Wang-Tan.
She also added that the school had a "long discussion" with the victim’s mother, and assured her that the school took the incident very seriously.
She did not respond to queries by CNA on what happened on previous occasions when the victim's parents and sister approached the school for help when her daughter was allegedly bullied.
Mrs Wang-Tan said that Mee Toh School was a secular school, with a secular curriculum and that the school upheld the fundamental values of mutual respect, racial harmony and social unity.
The school teaches these values through Character and Citizenship Education (CCE), Values-in-Action (VIA) programmes and by observing key events such as Racial Harmony Day and National Day, she said.
She said: "While inappropriate misconduct does happen from time to time, it is not the culture of our school, and our students are generally respectful, kind and helpful."