Gerardus Gantur: (Kompas/Alfiyyatur Rohmah)
Following a bullying case on Tuesday in which seven junior high students were injured, Don Bosco high school management in Pondok Indah, South Jakarta, confirmed that the violence was not a part of the school’s Student Orientation Program (MOS).
“It occurred on Tuesday after school hours, not during MOS, which was carried out from July 17 to July 19,” said Don Bosco vice principal Gerardus Gantur on Friday as quoted by kompas.com.
On Tuesday at about 1:45 p.m., seven junior high school students were reportedly taken by senior high students to Pertok Taman Hijau Baru in Pondok Indah.
The junior students, he said, were then told to sit down and keep their eyes down. About 18 Don Bosco seniors and alumnus covered the junior students’ heads with jackets before slapping, beating and burning them with lit cigarettes.
The younger students were told to turn off their cell phones when the assault took place.
After being reportedly subjected to the violence until about 10 p.m., they were told to go home by taxi.
The case emerged when a relative of junior high student, Shinta, recounted the incident through micro blogging site Twitter, after learning that her nephew Ary was one of the victims.
“We took [Ary] to the hospital, his abdomen and face were livid with bruises and he had marks on his neck from cigarette burns. Seniors did this to him,” she said on her Twitter account @shintwitt on Wednesday.
On the same day, Don Bosco called a meeting with the parents of the victims, as well as parents of the eight seniors allegedly involved in the case.
Shinta, however, expressed disappointment that the school did not expel the perpetrators, given that were soon to undergo the final exam.
On the other hand, Ary is reluctant to return to the school.
“[The family] tried to convince Ary not to move to another school, but how can he stay when he always thinks about the seniors saying ‘Don’t report this or else,” Shinta said.
Ary’s family reported the case to the South Jakarta Police on Wednesday. The police are expected to summon the school’s representatives soon.
“If it is proven that the suspects conducted the bullying in a group, they can be charged under Article 170 of the Criminal Code (KUHP) [on joint assault],” said South Jakarta Police chief detective Adj. Sr. Comr. Hermawan.
The article carries a maximum punishment of five years’ imprisonment.
National Commission for Child Protection (Komnas PA) chairman Arist Merdeka Sirait said the management of Don Bosco high school was responsible for finding a solution.
“Neither the perpetrators nor the victims should have to leave the school. This case needs to be settled peacefully. Even though the police have started an investigation, I am sure that they [the police] will find the best solution for everyone,” he said over the phone on Friday to The Jakarta Post Digital. (yps/iwa)