The Jakarta Post
The Santa Maria Bunda Segala Bangsa (BSB) Seminary school in Maumere, East Nusa Tenggara (NTT), has expelled two grade 12 students for abusing 77 seventh graders by reportedly forcing them to "eat" human feces as a form of punishment.
“The [school] has decided to expel the two students from St. Maria Bunda Segala Bangsa Maumere,” the school head, Father Deodatus Du’u, said in a statement released on Tuesday evening.
The incident began at around 2 p.m. on Feb. 19, when the two seniors, who were in charge of cleanliness at the school dormitory, discovered a plastic bag containing human feces in an empty cupboard, one of the students who had been subjected to the abuse said on Feb. 25.
The student, who requested anonymity, said that the two seniors then gathered all 89 grade 7 students in the dormitory to discover the culprit, but none admitted to the act. In an alleged attempt to try and force a confession, the two seniors opened the bag and used a spoon and "made them eat" the feces.
The younger students were too frightened to resist, the student said, and the two seniors had sworn them to secrecy afterward.
One of the victims, however, apparently ran home and told their parents about what had happened.
The incident only came to light two days later on Feb. 21, when the victim's parents related the incident on the school’s public relations WhatsApp group.
The school held a meeting over the incident on Feb. 25 with the two twelfth graders, the 77 seventh-grade victims and their parents, as well as with the school's guidance counselors on Tuesday.
Deodatus said the school had apologized directly to the victims and parents at the meeting. “We humbly conveyed our deepest apologies to all parties, especially to the parents and families of the students in this incident,” he said.
In the statement, Deodatus also clarified that the victims had not actually "eaten" the human feces as reported by various media, but that one of the seniors had taken the spoon containing the feces and "touched" it to the mouth or tongue of the victims.
He added that St. Maria BSB Seminary did not tolerate any kind of violence or bullying, and always took decisive action in the event of any cases of abuse.
Many of the school's parents, however, have expressed severe disappointment with the school, with one parent describing the incident as "inhumane".
Martinus, the father of one of the victims, said that he had decided to withdraw his son from St. Maria BSB. "It would be better to move and start over at another school," he said as quoted by kompas.com.
Meanwhile, Deodatus said that the seminary was following up by providing mental counseling services to the victims.
“For us, this incident is a lesson to provide better guidance in the future. The seminary appreciates all the criticisms, suggestions, advice and reprimands, which means much to this institution in the hope that the [school] will would continue to advance,” he said. (syk)