A video showing several teenagers attacking another student at the Halifax Common surfaced on social media on Friday. Halifax police and the regional education centre say they are investigating the “very disturbing” incident.
The incident, involving students from Citadel High School, occurred Thursday afternoon after class.
The video circulating on social media shows three teenagers walking behind a student. After the student lays on the ground, a second student is seen stomping on his head. Another individual filming could be heard egging the fight.
“The school has spoken with everyone involved and the aggressors and their families know there are consequences for those actions, even though it happened off school property,” says Doug Hadley, spokesperson for the Halifax Regional Centre for Education.
The school has also contacted police, who have confirmed they are investigating the incident.
“Halifax Regional Police would like to confirm that we have received reports of an incident captured in a video involving a physical altercation between some youths,” HRP said in a news release Friday night.
“We can confirm that we have an ongoing investigation into this matter. Due to the age of the parties involved, we are unable to provide specific details.
“We would like to assure the public that we take the matter seriously and are taking all necessary steps in this ongoing matter.”
Early Saturday afternoon, Citadel High School principal Joe Morrison released a statement saying the incident is being taken seriously.
“We were made aware of the incident on Friday and spent considerable time addressing the situation.
“Late Friday afternoon, we became aware that a video of the incident was circulating on social media,” Morrison wrote.
“We also learned there is a narrative circulating suggesting the person on the ground has special needs. This is not the case and distracts from what actually happened.”
As for the student attacked, authorities say he is doing fine and attended school on Friday, but that doesn’t change the seriousness of the incident.
“It’s very disturbing for anyone who’s seen it, so it’s a matter of great concern for everyone who is involved,” Hadley says.
He is also pleading for everyone to stop sharing the video of the attack.
“It’s sharing a video of someone being attacked, and they’re being filmed without their consent, and so every time we share that it can lead to further victimization,” Hadley says.
“It can be harmful on many different levels,” he says, adding that there is also an issue of reputation. “This might be reflective of the larger community when in fact we know that not to be true, and that Citadel High and its students have many things to be proud of.
“But there’s also a feeling that there’s a risk, that others might think that’s acceptable behavior when it’s clearly not.”
Police say the investigation into the incident is ongoing and the school has stated that there will be consequences for the students involved.