MANILA -- (UPDATED) Ateneo de Manila University on Sunday said it has kicked out the high school student who was caught on video punching and kicking his schoolmate.
A video of the incident showing the student challenging his peer to a fight in a comfort room recently made the rounds online, triggering discussions on how school authorities and parents should deal with and prevent bullying incidents.
The student in the video was dismissed after "a thorough investigation that included listening to all the parties involved," Ateneo president Jose Ramon Villarin SJ said in a statement.
"This means that he is no longer allowed to come back to the Ateneo," he said.
"I have spoken to the parents of both students about this decision and have offered the families support to help them overcome this difficult time," he continued.
The school will continue its investigation "as there are other matters involved," said Villarin, adding that he has created a task force to audit the Jesuit-run university's measures against bullying.
The school official also acknowledged that the incident "inflicted widespread and profound pain" in the whole Ateneo community, but urged them to "stop fighting one another."
"We can begin by refusing to add fuel to the fire and helping our children and another heal," he said.
PALACE DENOUNCES BULLYING
Meanwhile, Malacañang commended Ateneo's "swift action" on the case, but hopes that hopes that "it could finish the ongoing investigation the soonest," Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said.
"We are aware of several incidents of bullying that go unpunished by schools. We hope that this occurrence will serve as a reminder that bullying is something that should never be tolerated nor condoned in any civilized institution," he said in a statement.
Panelo called on all educational institutions in the country to establish mechanisms that will monitor their students' activities and ensure the strict implementation of the Anti-Bullying Law.
Panelo also advised parents and guardians to set a good example of uprightness for the youth.
"We consider this incident as a lesson for us to encourage our children to be more open when it comes to expressing their concerns both inside and outside their schools," he said.
"As adults, our children look up to us for support and guidance. We cannot stress enough how important it is for us to spend quality time with them during their growing years, especially in a generation where modern technology has become a fierce competitor for the youth’s time and attention," he added.