The trend of children being attacked and filmed for social media is becoming more dangerous and could lead to a child losing their life, warns the half-brother of a 13-year-old girl who was recently attacked by other children. The victim was assaulted just as she was leaving school, dragged to the ground by her hair and kicked in the head by other youngsters. A video of the attack was posted online by children in Rochdale before Easter. An adult witness reported that there were around 40 children present at the attack, which experts say is becoming a “sickening” and “growing” trend in British schools. The motive for the attack was most likely to produce videos to be shared and laughed about in private groups on social media. Many of the children present had their phones out filming the attack. Some even knew the ambush was coming and at least one of those filming joined in on the assault, kicking the victim while she was on the ground.
The National Bullying Helpline warns that the practice of filming violence and uploading it to social media is an “escalating problem” and is often perpetrated by gangs and school bullies who are seeking attention and power. The victim is further ridiculed when the abuse is posted on social media. Although this practice occurs most weeks, many parents find it difficult to persuade schools to believe them and take the issue seriously. One headteacher of a private school in London recently sought advice from the National Bullying Helpline after a filmed attack was observed by over 20 students. Not one of the onlookers felt safe enough to report it at the time, and it only came to light a month later. The headteacher introduced initiatives to unite the pupils and encourage ‘bystanders’ to report future incidents.
The victim of the recent attack in Rochdale wanted to speak out about the issue, but we have agreed not to name her or show her face, although she accepts that everyone in her school knows what happened. She no longer has a phone because her attackers stamped on it. The half-brother of the victim believes that this craze is becoming increasingly dangerous, saying that the attackers pick on someone who is normally quiet and doesn’t bother anyone, then use that person as a target to create online content. He added that a child is going to lose their life from this practice, as it is happening all over the country.
Greater Manchester Police is encouraging anyone who is the subject of social media offences that encourage violence against another human being to report them immediately via 101 or 999 in an emergency. Greater Manchester Police is committed to investigating every complaint received of this nature and bringing the perpetrators to justice. The attack on the 13-year-old victim is now being investigated by the police. However, the National Bullying Helpline warns that schools and authorities are failing to keep pace with this growing UK-wide problem. Parents have told Sky News that there have been several similar incidents at or near the school in Rochdale. Although the school’s headteacher has stated that they take their duty of care to their students and the local community extremely seriously, the stories will concern families who are part of the school community.
Leave a Reply