Once again, images have emerged of a case of senseless violence among young people. This time a twelve-year-old girl from Ostend is tackled by some young people. According to the girl, there are at least four girls who are several years older than herself. “I already received threats via social media,” says the girl.
The facts date from Thursday, but the problems and threats have been going on for a little longer. “I have been harassed via Instagram for several days,” says the girl. “A group was created with several people from my school. Messages told me to leave a boy alone with whom I am in contact, much against the wishes of one of the girls who made threats against me.”
After the threats were sent a few days ago, the girl informed her parents. “I went to talk to the girl and made it clear to her that it is normal for young people to have arguments among themselves, but that threatening people is not an option,” says mother AV (52). “In the end the conversation went positively.”
Yet the young people decided to go one step further on Thursday. “During lunch break, one of them came up to me and pulled my arm,” the girl explains. “She wanted to talk to me, but I had a feeling something was wrong. “At one point they dragged me into the ground by my hair and started stomping and kicking me. I tried to shield my face. That’s all I could do.”
The girl received hard kicks in her back, head and neck. When a teacher approached, she was able to escape. “When we heard what had happened, we immediately went to the school,” her mother continues. “Shortly after our daughter was spanked, images emerged. The school immediately intervened. We went straight to the police after school to file a complaint.”
The girl did not go to school on Friday for fear of more hard blows. “It’s okay that our daughter is mature. But young people hitting each other and making images of it has become a habit. She is afraid to return to school. This is not a normal situation. These young people must be punished, but in a healthy way. Why is it that young people nowadays can no longer control themselves? You hear it often, but you always think it won’t happen to your child. That’s what I thought too, until Thursday.”
At the school they are bored with the matter. “There was indeed a fight in the school on Thursday,” says director of the Ensor Institute, Barbara Himpens. “We immediately took the victim and perpetrators aside and notified their parents. They all went to school for an interview and the girls involved were preventively suspended. We do a lot to avoid these types of situations. Last week, organizations visited our school to discuss the dangers of social media. We will take the necessary steps to avoid this at our school in the future. There is absolute zero tolerance for these types of facts at our school.”
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