Police arrested eight male students at a secondary school in Ma On Shan on suspicion of bullying a schoolmate.
The suspects, said to be secondary six students at the Yan Chai Hospital Tung Chi Ying Memorial Secondary School, were later released on bail.
They were aged between 17 and 19. The case was listed as common assault.
The arrest of the students outside the campus came after a video clip of the incident was uploaded on a Facebook page of Ma On Shan residents, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.
In the video that runs about 40 seconds, the students shoved their schoolmate to the floor and forcibly took off his pants. One of the suspects was caught on camera spanking the boy.
The school issued a statement on Thursday saying that its own investigation into the incident suggested that there was no bullying involved.
Several students were only playing around, although they went a bit too far, the school said.
According to the statement, the school administration had talked to the students involved in the case, and told them that such an incident should not happen again on campus.
Bullying will be handled seriously, the statement said, adding that the school has reminded students to immediately report to school officials if they see acts of bullying happening at school.
A spokesperson for the Education Bureau (EDB) said it attaches great importance to the incident and has contacted the school administration, adding that the bureau will continue to get in touch with the school and offer support.
The EDB stressed that bullying in schools, in whatever form or for whatever reason, will not be tolerated.
It also asked schools to treat bullying as a serious matter, issue circulars and guidelines to prevent such incidents, and adopt proactive measures to ensure the students’ safety on the campus.
The eight students were asked to report back to the police in late February.
– Contact us at [email protected]