Rotorua police have spoken to staff at Western Heights High School after a student was kicked in the head by another student on Wednesday.

Police confirmed the offending student had been suspended pending further investigation by the school and Ministry of Education.

Fellow students captured the assault on video and it quickly went viral on social media, attracting thousands of views.

The video shows three boys in Western Heights High School uniforms approaching a seated student. One of the students kicks the seated boy in the face, propelling him backwards.

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Another student can be seen filming, or taking photos of the incident on an iPad.

Rotorua police area response manager Senior Sergeant Denton Grimes said police would work with the school to determine whether police intervention was appropriate, and "to ensure the safety and needs of the victim are met".

Fellow students captured the assault on video and it quickly went viral on social media, attracting thousands of views. Photo / Supplied
Fellow students captured the assault on video and it quickly went viral on social media, attracting thousands of views. Photo / Supplied

He said the victim was not at school yesterday and had not been injured in the attack.

"Police acknowledge the resentment from our community towards the actions of the offender in this assault, and we would like to thank the school for their co-operation and assistance with the investigation so far.

"We need to support these students involved to enable them to change their behaviour to prevent a repeat of what has happened."

Grime said he was encouraged that social media comments strongly condemned the violence.

ROTORUA DAILY POST
24 Feb, 2018 7:07am
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ROTORUA DAILY POST
2 Mar, 2018 8:10am
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Western Heights High School in Rotorua where a student was filmed kicking another in the head.
Western Heights High School in Rotorua where a student was filmed kicking another in the head.

"People do not accept violence in our communities," Grimes said.

A Western Heights High School spokeswoman said the school saw the incident as a "violent assault, rather than a bullying issue".

She said the school had been advised that when a child was assaulted, as in this case, the school did not lay the assault complaint with the police - "that is up to the victim and their family".

The school has been in regular contact with the victim and their family, and has offered support.

"We believe we have good systems in place, but we are constantly exploring new options so that we can be proactive in improving student behaviours.

"We are hopeful that our involvement in Te Maru o Ngongotaha, our community of learning, will contribute to better outcomes for the students in our neighbourhood."

Previously the spokeswoman said staff and students were appalled by the "serious assault".

"We share the concern about the level of violence being used by young people today, and would like reassure our school community that the safety of our students is our No 1 priority."

Sensible Sentencing Trust spokesman for child abuse Scott Guthrie said this type of student on student violence was not just a Rotorua issue, and more needed to be done to solve the underlying issues violent children had.

"More needs to be done to ensure these children are getting the help they desperately need.

"It's not about locking these kids up in a juvenile facility and forgetting about them. We need to get professional services working with troubled youth and their families immediately after an incident so the true problems are identified and rectified."