Wheelchair attack video misleading – principal

Wheelchair attack video misleading – principal

Video of an Auckland student falling over after his wheelchair is pushed away by a classmate has gone viral.

Thousands of people around the world have expressed their outrage, but the school's principal, Vaughan Couillault, says the clip's misleading.

In just 16 seconds, the video clip has brought some serious opinions to social media. Some of the comments call for the alleged attackers to be killed, others call for expulsion.

The incident happened on Tuesday afternoon at James Cook High School in south Auckland.

Mr Couillault told 3 News the incident had been investigated and resolved and the students had apologised and been disciplined.

But the clip was misleading, out of context, and didn't show the beginning or end of the incident.

The student in the wheelchair was arguing with the boys and had been instigating the scuffle, and that is when they tried to move him.

"It didn't go well. It went really badly on every level, however what that video doesn't show is that the two boys involved in making it happen realised their wrong and went to his aid, picked him up and got him some help," Mr Couillault says.

According to the school he's totally fine, emotionally and physically but the other boys are now in a bad way - off school and terrified by death threats.

Mr Couillault says he is concerned by how people are responding to the video.

"My advice to both of their sets of whanau was to get them out of Auckland for a serious few months, because I have genuine fears for their safety."

The female student who videoed and posted the clip is now also distraught and ironically, Mr Couillault says the student in the wheelchair didn't have access to social media and wasn't aware of the clip.

"He's turned up to school today, people have been giving him gifts and showing him a lot of attention and he doesn't know why that's happening. So we are at risk of doing him some more harm. I certainly wouldn't want to be an international victim; I would just want to get on with life."

Mr Couillault hopes people learn from this that context is key and don't believe everything you see on social media.

3 News