Female middle-school students in Taoyuan County ganged up on a fellow student, physically attacked her, forced her to strip and took pictures of her naked in a vicious case of schoolyard bullying, local media reported yesterday.
The victim reported her behavior to her parents on Monday, Dec. 6, who in turn informed the police. The father of the traumatized girl, with the support of county councilors, yesterday came forward with the story of his daughter’s abuse.
With tears in his eyes, the father expressed his shock at the fact that the bullying happened over a period of weeks, was committed on school grounds, in broad daylight and in view of many students, none of whom came forward to defend the girl or report the behavior to teachers.
Representatives of the school said they had already taken the initial, necessary actions when the news first surfaced and would comment no further.
According to police reports, the bullying first started two weeks ago, when the victim was dragged by a ringleader surnamed Chen and two other girls to a courtyard right outside of a classroom at the school.
Chen accused the girl of having a big mouth and telling secrets, hitting her several times while another student kicked her as “punishment.” Although the victim claimed she never told any secrets, Chen refused to believe her.
The bullying was not without witnesses. Chen rounded up three other girls and terrorized the victim in the same courtyard, in view of several people. Chen allegedly threatened the entire class, warning those tempted to tell teachers to “be careful.”
The same afternoon, the girls dragged the victim to the bathroom and ordered her to strip, although Chen reportedly forgot her cell phone that day and couldn’t take pictures. She let the victim go after beating her.
Later, Chen once again dragged the victim to the bathroom, made her strip, and forced her to make a peace sign while taking pictures. Chen proceeded to post the pictures online.
When questioned by the police, Chen admitted to the bullying but claimed she had deleted the pictures from the Internet.
The Ministry of Education (MOE) said the school and its members have cooperated with police investigations. It advised that both the bully and victim receive counseling and proposed that the parents of both students sit down and talk. As for punishment, the MOE said the case is still pending investigation.