HCMC international school says partly responsible for beating between students

By Manh Tung   May 30, 2022 | 12:03 am PT
HCMC international school says partly responsible for beating between students
A view of the International School Ho Chi Minh City-American Academy. Photo courtesy of the ISHCMC-AA
The International School Ho Chi Minh City said it is partly responsible for a beating incident between its students which has caused parents' concerns.

Kim Sharee Green, principal of ISHCMC, said in a report submitted to the city's education department on Sunday that teachers were informed of the beating outside the school after class on Thursday.

Camera footage and statements from several students showed that the tension started from the students teasing each other.

She said the school is "partly responsible" in the matter and is committed to cooperating with parents to help students overcome any stress or mental problems and go back to studying.

Her statements came after reports of a violent incident at the International School Ho Chi Minh City-American Academy made waves on social media in recent days.

A woman in HCMC said her seventh-grade daughter was beaten at ISHCMC-AA but the school failed to settle the matter appropriately.

According to the mother, the incident began on a school trip to Ba Ria-Vung Tau that borders HCMC last week. The seventh grader and an eighth grader had a small conflict there. After school on Thursday, the seventh grader was beaten by the eighth grader on school grounds. Three other students who sought to break up the fight were beaten too, the mother said, adding that teachers saw the incident, yet did nothing to intervene.

On the same afternoon, the woman and other parents whose children had been beaten came to the school, which apparently requested the parties to resolve the matter among themselves since the incident had occurred outside school grounds, she said, adding that she requested the school to allow her to meet the eighth grader, but to no avail.

A medical check-up revealed that the seventh grader did not suffer from severe injuries, but had wounds on her arms, scratches on her body, and signs of breathing difficulties.

The seventh-grader's mother said she would continue to use social media to pursue the truth.

Green said in her report that the school has not made a final decision regarding the matter as it has not gathered all the necessary information.

The school has contacted parents of three of the five students involved in the beating, who agreed to meet with the school on Monday and Tuesday. It has not been able to reach the other two's, she said.

"We are worried that relevant parties are using the media and other livestreaming tools to display their attitudes and bullying behaviors by spreading personal info of students, for example home addresses and personal images," Green said.

The ISHCMC-AA is advertised as an international secondary and high school with an American curriculum in HCMC. Its tuition fee from sixth to 12th grade is around VND503-603 million ($21,693-26,006) a year.

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