Mother disgusted by filmed attack on son
Fri, 26 Oct 2012 6:04p.m.
By Amanda Gillies
A Northland mother is disgusted that her 14-year-old son was marched into a school toilet and beaten up by his classmate while other waiting students filmed it on their cellphones.
The fight at Ruawai College near Dargaville was then put on Facebook and YouTube. But what frustrated the victim's mother most was the school didn't tell her of the assault until a couple of days later.
The teen was marched into the school toilets and confronted by a gang of students - one ready for a fight, the rest ready to film it.
“I'm not fighting,” he was recorded as saying.
But as he tried to walk away, people started chanting “fighting, fighting, fighting”.
He kept telling his attacker he didn't want to fight, but the fists kept flying.
The victim's distraught mum, who wanted to be known as just Kathleen, had videos of the incident pulled down from Facebook and YouTube.
She refused to watch the footage herself.
“I heard his voice and burst into tears. There was no way I could do it. I still can't do it.”
But she did confront her son's attacker, asking him why he did it.
“He wanted to be a man and show he can be a man,” Kathleen says.
The attackers had warned their victim not to tell on them.
“You better not [go] telling anyone boy, or you’ll get another hiding. You will be dead.”
Kathleen says her son did tell a teacher about the fight and was then interviewed by another teacher the next day. But he didn't tell his mum and the school didn't inform her until a day after that.
She complained to the school and the board of trustees - the school says it followed correct procedure and contacted police.
On the same day as Kathleen’s son was beaten up, two other young male students were assaulted at the school, again by their peers. It's understood one of those fights was also captured on a mobile phone. Since then one student has been expelled, one excluded and one suspended.
Ruawai College principal Stephen Fordyce is disturbed by the behaviour.
“They were actions of evil intent.”
He says the school will be following up on what happened.
“We are addressing the needs of every single student in our school.”
In a letter to Kathleen's family Ruawai College acknowledged the stress and trauma they were going through, but added “sadly violence is part of the society we all live in.... it is not altogether unexpected when incidents of this nature occur''.
Kathleen wasn't impressed with the letter.
Her son is doing okay now, and getting counselling organised by CYF, not the school.
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9/11/2012 12:26:17 p.m.
My sympathies to Kathleen and her son. This is yet another example of bullying and I cannot even begin to understand the behaviour of the others wanting to fight and film it. Its wicked and should be stopped. The school will have to be vigilant about it. This is crazy behaviour... and the comments that violence is part of society so not unexpected...sorry,not good enough. One is forced legally to send one's kids to school, so you would at least expect them to be safe when there. Best wishes to you and your son, Kathleen.
2/11/2012 10:15:11 p.m.
3 Things went wrong in this picture, 1. The "group" provoked the attack which is absolutely rats. 2. The Kid getting beaten up didn't turn around and WASTE the other kid that thought he was the man. and 3. Now its public, all over the news where the victim and the attacker are now shamed. I've been in that kids situation back at high school, and I learnt quickly that if I didn't defend myself I was toast, once I did, everyone left me alone. Fighting isn't cool, but having the ability to defend yourself against attack, especially walking down the streets of auckland central at midnight once your a bit older, can save your life. I'm not saying teach your kids how to scrap dirty, just teach them how to defend themselves, or send them to Muay Thai/Karate classes where they learn dicplined defence techniques. Parents these days are too scared their kid will get a graze on their knee, its pathetic and grows bored kids that only know how to bully other kids in numbers or submit and get beaten up. Thats my two cents, alot of you won't agree with it but I don't live in your PC world, when my teenager gets picked on by 8 kids I want em to be onto it enough to get out of that situation quickly and efficiently so they can just get on with LEARNING!
1/11/2012 9:58:11 a.m.
Answer these for:
1) "the school says it followed correct procedure and contacted police." When did Police out rank contacting the mother of the victim???
2) The boys should have thought about being shamed before they stood around the victim and watched/filmed him being attacked. Being beaten over and over again without throwing one punch back. Asking for it to stop and asking to leave! They stood there and laughed and pushed for more! Like it was a show. Why are they so upset now? Is it because they are not famous in the way they obviously wanted to be?
3) If "its not altogether unexpected when incidents of this nature occur" why be ashamed of it school. Yes each school has their same issue's, but the difference here is that each school has a way of dealing with them. Some schools and i would hope most would handle it correctly and would have a sensible procedure (which should include contacting the parent/s FIRST) and not try and deal with it in house so they don't damage the reputation of the school. I would have thought child/victim outweighs reputation of an institution or am I wrong here?
31/10/2012 2:39:28 p.m.
To Anon's comment. Who the heck do you think your are? Had it not been for TV3 and that poor boy's Mum, I would never have known that my 3 grandchildren that attend that school could possibly be the next victims of a malicious and gutless bullying attack. Its a serious problem in schools, and keeping it behind closed doors will not fix it. Make your child apologise publicly and that is an action that will recieve him exhoneration.
30/10/2012 7:15:52 p.m.
The evidence is there. A case for litigation?
29/10/2012 8:01:31 p.m.
Charlene kahui wrote:
This has stressed abit as my daughter attends this school and if she had or new of anything of this nature i would be making sure that things wouldn't be dealt lightly its viscous and a concerning subject. Even knowing that violence is out there its no game that is mentally hard to get your head around and your dignity back after that my heart goes out to the mother the school should have contacted her straight away fricken ridiculous
28/10/2012 2:27:49 p.m.
Bullys are usually bullied in their home or personal life and take it out on innocent victims and usually like cowards in a group against one innocent victim - sickening - hope they go to a youth jail and boot camp to change their behaviour...they should never be allowed through the doors of that school again - otherwise parents should pull their children from the school in protest!
28/10/2012 11:05:54 a.m.
Shame on you TV3. The boys who made this video did it for the attention. it was taken off Facebook and YouTube straight away. Thanks to you the bullies now have the publicity they crave. They, and you by this glaring publicity a couple of months after everything settled down, tarnished the reputation of a good school for an unbalanced, over done and sensational story. If this is journalism in NZ then we are on a slippery slope.
27/10/2012 10:06:01 p.m.
You are quite right Ernst I am utterly appalled that you would stoop so low. How dare you defend yourself you have no right! Did you ever stop to think of the damage you could do to your attackers? You must never confront violence with violence. Schools will not tolerate it, if pupils defend themselves they will be expelled. Forget self-defence think self-sacrifice, self-immolation even but never self defence.
27/10/2012 8:40:17 p.m.
Hi there everyone who has commented and Kathleen,I would like to comment on behalf of the boy who committed this act, YES he was wrong in what he did and Yes he made a bad decision to do what he did BUT we have been threw the proccess and we are trying to fix what he has done and I can tell you he has been punished and now because of this he is been punished again. I was under the impression we had a confidential agreement and plan in place to work towards fixing what he had done, but obviously I was mistaken what a shame because this has blown everything way out of proportion, I do understand why you Kathleen have done this to get at the school and this type of bad behaviour but you have now just caused the same thing to happen to our boy as he is recieving viscious comments himself and we were well on the way to getting things back on track, don't get me wrong I do not expect you to feel sorry in any way for us as we are the ones who have done wrong but this has really got out of hand.Please once again accept our apology for what our boy has done and we hope you got the result you were after by doing this.?
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