Two Hong Kong schoolgirls have been arrested over a bullying incident in which the victim was repeatedly beaten with the lid of a fire bucket and pushed to eat the sand it contained.
The suspects from Tack Ching Girls’ Secondary School (TCGSS) in Sham Shui Po, both aged 12, were arrested on Sunday afternoon on suspicion of assault occasioning actual bodily harm. They were released on bail and must report back to police next month.
A police spokesman said further arrests were possible and a district investigation team was on the case.
The school vowed on Saturday to deal with the matter seriously and said it regretted the incident between students earlier this week.
In video circulated online, a young, short-haired girl wearing a jacket with the initials TCGSS was left cowering in a stairwell in the attack involving at least two culprits.
The girl was repeatedly hit on the head and arms with the lid, and she was ordered in Cantonese to eat the sand in the bucket, the video showed.
A police spokesman confirmed the force received a report from the father of a 13-year-old girl who was injured during an incident at a staircase of Hoi Lai Shopping Centre in Cheung Sha Wan.
A preliminary investigation found the girl was suspected to have been attacked with hard objects, and the case was listed as assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
The victim sustained injuries to the head and arms and was sent to Caritas Medical Centre in Sham Shui Po for treatment.
“The school deeply regrets the video circulating online a few days ago about the school’s student being bullied,” TCGSS said. “We are investigating the matter with the related person and will deal with it seriously.”
The school said it had always focused on instilling respect among students. “Students grow up in the face of difficulties and challenges. Our team of teachers, as always, provides appropriate training and guidance to allow students to learn how to get along with others, respect others and take responsibility,” it said.
Hong Kong has a serious problem with school bullying, surveys have found. One ranking suggested Hong Kong was the worst globally among 53 countries and regions. About a third of 15-year-olds said they were bullied a few times a month.
In one high-profile incident last year, eight students, aged 17 to 19, were arrested for common assault after a video emerged of a pupil being stripped and assaulted by classmates.
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This article Two Hong Kong schoolgirls arrested over bullying of girl caught on video first appeared on South China Morning Post