Upper Hutt, New Zealand – The community of Upper Hutt College has been left in shock following a violent attack on one of its students, which was recorded and circulated on social media. The incident has prompted investigations by the police and the school administration.
The video, which has not been republished by RNZ, showed two younger students assaulting a senior student while others looked on. The assailants, who are in Year 9 and 10, are awaiting a decision on possible suspension on Monday.
The brutal attack, which took place during lunchtime, left the Year 11 victim bruised, leading her family to involve the police. The widespread sharing of the footage on social media has only served to further traumatize the victim.
The principal, Judith Taylor, revealed that despite teachers’ efforts to patrol the school during lunchtime, the unprovoked attack still occurred. She also acknowledged the existence of a culture of fear among students to speak up about bullying, citing the “insidious” belief that ‘snitches get stitches’ in all schools.
The widespread impact of the attack on the student body has been evident, with reports of students feeling withdrawn, saddened, and in need of additional support. This has prompted the college to begin implementing an online portal for students to report harm anonymously.
Parents in the community have expressed their disgust at the attack, with one calling for serious consequences for the perpetrators, including possible expulsion from the school. Another parent acknowledged the tough situation for the girls involved and highlighted the need for a solution to prevent similar incidents in the future.
The principal has declined requests for an interview but has affirmed the school’s commitment to addressing the issue and creating a safe environment for students. The incident has also prompted discussions about the effectiveness of current anti-bullying measures and the need for a more proactive approach in preventing such incidents.
As the community grapples with the aftermath of the attack, there is a collective hope that the necessary actions will be taken to ensure the safety and well-being of all students at Upper Hutt College.