Indonesia: University vows strict action against bullies in viral video
Irwan says the bullies can go to jail if there's criminal element involved. Source: Shutterstock

Gunadarma University has launched an investigation into a viral video that appears to show a group of its students bullying a purported special needs student.

In the video, bullies were shown to be tugging on the student’s backpack and throwing rubbish at him while others clapped and cheered them on. Deputy dean of the West Javanese private university Irwan Bastias vowed there will be repercussions for the three students it has identified as the bullies in the video, including the possibility of expulsion.

Irwan told Liputan 6:

“Even though they have regretted and visited the victim and his family, we will still act firm. We will process according to Gunadarma’s code of conduct.”

“If there is criminal element involved, they could be imprisoned,” Irwan said, as quoted by The Jakarta Post.

When questioned by the university’s investigation team, the bullies’ defence was that they were not bullying but only “joking”, and that it was a “spontaneous” act. However, the university doesn’t seem to buy the excuse and has said the investigation will continue regardless to ensure there is no repeat of such event at the school.

“It is too much to be a joke. And it was at the hands of his own classmates,” Irwan said as quoted by

Coconuts reports early media reports had mistakenly reported the bully victim was autistic or special needs, which was untrue, as confirmed by the university to KumparanThe victim’s family is now “feeling down” after their son was called an autistic or special needs student when the video was shared widely on social media.

Jakarta Post notes a rise in the number of videos showing bullying being uploaded to social media, including a recent one which showed two students slapped a female high school student on her head and asked her to kiss their feet in what was allegedly a revenge act.

The victim’s parents have filed a police report on Monday.

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