Four Hong Kong teenage girls have been arrested by police on suspicion of slapping and kicking a schoolmate and putting a container on her head following verbal scuffles, highlighting the problem of bullying in schools.
The victim, a 13-year-old girl from S.K.H. All Saints’ Middle School in Mong Kok, told police on Friday she was assaulted by her schoolmates earlier in the week on the institution’s premises and also in a nearby building.
The schoolmates, aged 13 to 15, were arrested on Saturday on suspicion of assault occasioning bodily harm.
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“She was slapped and kicked. The student suspects had asked her to kneel. They had also put a container (used to burn paper offerings to the dead) on her head,” Inspector Chan Ho-hin from the Mong Kok crime division said.
“The victim’s knees, face and belly were swollen and there were scratches.”
A 40-second video of the assault, uploaded on social media, showed a girl in school uniform slapping the victim hard twice on her face. The attacker was seen asking the victim why she would not lend her HK$100 (US$12.8), to which the victim replied she only had HK$50.
But Chan said money was not the reason behind the assault, and that the girls had quarrelled among themselves on another day while on public transport, insulting each other during the ride.
In a statement, the school said it was shocked and distressed over the matter, and had asked its “crisis task force” to follow up on the case. The school told students not to share the video in question.
It also said it would not reveal any information relating to the case as police were already investigating, but stressed it would not tolerate “such behaviours”.
The school added that it had always encouraged students to care for, love and support one another.
“At this moment, we care particularly about the stress the students involved in the incident are facing. We are providing them with support and counselling, and we hope society can give them room,” the statement said.
In August, four teenagers, aged 13 to 18, were arrested at a playground in Shek Pai Wan Estate in Aberdeen on suspicion of common assault over some dispute. One of the teenagers was filmed slapping a 13-year-old girl.
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