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Dubai school takes action after bullying video goes viral

Published on February 11, 2020 at 00.01

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A private school in Dubai has taken "appropriate action" against a bullying incident, which was captured in a video that had gone viral on social media. The 57-second clip showed a girl violently tugging at the hair of another student and threatening her.
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It surfaced online on Sunday, prompting a backlash from communities of students and parents who demanded swift action. The incident, which reportedly took place at GEMS World Academy a few weeks ago, is under investigation, said GEMS Education.
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The video came to the KHDA's attention on Sunday evening and, in response to the post, the authority said: "We agree, this is unacceptable. Has the school been made aware of this. Please can you DM us details of the school, grade, and students' names, or any other details you may have. Thank you." In the video, the alleged bully is seen threatening what appears to be her classmate. She pulled at her hair and said: "Shall I punch you? I will let you go, but don't do that again." The video was widely tweeted and re-tweeted by Netizens.
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In a statement, a spokesperson from the education provider said: "We are aware of an earlier incident at one of our schools and can confirm that appropriate action has already been taken in accordance with our safeguarding policy. "The school acted promptly to investigate and resolve the issue and we will continue to prioritise the safety, security and well-being of all our students."
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The Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), the private school regulator in Dubai, said it is also investigating the footage. One tweep, @Preety011, said: "In my opinion such video needed to go viral to expose the bully and not the one getting bullied. This is a lesson and awareness for lot of parents too as to what's happening around the so-called safe and secure walls of the school and class rooms." Another user @imrealkomal commented: "I am terrified to send my children to school after this."
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A Netizen using the handle @3alya_ms tagged the Dubai Police and the KHDA and said: "As a local I can't accept such behaviour in the UAE ! Please this issue should be dealt with as soon as possible what's happening in the video is disgusting !" When bullying crosses the line from aggravation to criminal harassment or threats, it becomes a crime. The UAE's Cybercrime Law No. 5 of 2012 stipulates penalties like jail terms that could go up to a life sentence and/or a fine ranging between Dh50,000 and Dh2 million depending on the severity and seriousness of the cybercrime.
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