Bullying Crisis: Instagram Incites Violence at Hamilton School

Hamilton, New Zealand – A disturbing video uploaded to Instagram shows two senior students stomping on a junior high school student’s head as she tries to run away to protect herself. This incident is the latest in a series of violent attacks among students at Mangakōtukutuku College in Hamilton.

Since the opening of the school in February, there have been reports of escalating violence, including a 13-year-old boy being knocked unconscious with one punch during a brawl that resulted in a school lockdown. Following these incidents, a Limited Statutory Manager was appointed in April, and the principal, Dr. Thilo Govender, is no longer at the embattled school.

The violence at the school appears to be instigated by an Instagram page bearing the school crest, where students are encouraged to engage in fights and document them for social media. Parents have expressed concerns about bullies picking fights during lunchtime, filming the brawls, and posting them online.

One particular video posted on the Instagram page shows a girl being attacked by two teenagers who kick and stomp on her head and face as she lies on the ground trying to protect herself. This disturbing behavior has left parents contemplating pulling their children out of the school for safety reasons.

A mother, Karen Glass, shared her concerns about the lack of communication from the school regarding the violent incidents. She kept her children at home out of fear for their safety and called for security guards to be reinstated at the school to ensure a safe environment for all students.

Among the victims of the violence is a 13-year-old boy who suffered a broken leg and missed an entire term of school after being knocked unconscious by an older student. Despite a heartfelt apology from the perpetrator during a restorative meeting, the boy’s family remains concerned about ongoing bullying and safety at the school.

The school administration, in collaboration with the police, is investigating the recent incidents to address the underlying issues of violence and bullying. The Ministry of Education has not provided clear answers regarding the situation at the school, leaving many parents worried about the safety and well-being of their children.

As the community grapples with the disturbing events at Mangakōtukutuku College, there is a growing urgency for concrete actions to be taken to protect students and create a safe learning environment. The incidents highlight the need for stronger measures to address bullying and violence in schools to ensure the safety and well-being of all students.