Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 28 March 2020

Dubai school probes viral bullying incident

A video clip of a girl pulling the hair of another pupil and threatening her was spread widely on social media

Gems Education said it is looking into the incident at World Academy, which was widely shared on social media. Satish Kumar / The National
Gems Education said it is looking into the incident at World Academy, which was widely shared on social media. Satish Kumar / The National

A school in Dubai is investigating a viral video in which a pupil appears to harass and threaten another child.

Gems Education said it is looking into the apparent incident at Gems World Academy after footage was posted on Sunday evening.

In the 57-second clip, a girl tugs on the hair of another female pupil and drags her around by her sweater as she cries.

We can confirm that appropriate action has already been taken in accordance with our safeguarding policy

Gems Education

At the end of the video she is heard warning her not to tell others what happened. The clip appears to have been shot by a pupil in a classroom or break room.

“We are aware of an earlier incident at one of our schools and can confirm that appropriate action has already been taken in accordance with our safeguarding policy,” a Gems Education spokesman said.

“The school acted promptly to investigate and resolve the issue and we will continue to prioritise the safety, security and well-being of our students.”

Dubai’s private school regulator, KHDA, told The National it was aware of the footage and investigating.

In the video, the alleged bully is heard threatening her classmate.

“Shall I punch you?” one girl says to another, as she tugs roughly on her hair.

“I will let you go, but never do that **** again.

“Is that understood?” the girl says while grinning.

The other girl starts crying and pleads to be released so she can go home.

“Listen, I want to talk to you – calm down, calm down,” the girl who appears to be the bully continues, while asking another child to close the door.

“If you tell anybody about what is here, I will get really mad.

“If you talk **** about me ever ******* again I will also get mad.

“So chillax, calm down. Will you tell anyone?”

The video was widely shared on social media on Sunday night and on Monday, clocking up more than 30,000 views and prompting angry comments from parents.

The footage clearly identifies both girls. Some social media users wrongly identified the incident as taking place at Repton Dubai.

In December, a new report found a third of UAE schoolchildren have been a victim of some form of bullying.

Surveys of thousands of pupils, carried out as part of global research for the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, also found only 77 per cent of 15-year-olds in the UAE agreed it “is a wrong thing to join in bullying” – below the OECD average of 88 per cent.

One in 10 of the UAE teenagers reported “always feeling sad”, above the global average of six per cent.

Many UAE schools have made tackling bullying a priority and a television and social media campaign by Cartoon Network last year sought to encourage children to challenge and report bullies to teachers and parents.

Updated: February 11, 2020 09:32 AM

SHARE

SHARE

Most Popular