Student kicked in face at Rotorua high school

Video has emerged of a student being kicked in the face at a Rotorua high school.

The footage, taken at Western Heights High School, was uploaded to Facebook on Wednesday - garnering close to 50,000 views before being deleted.

It shows a group of three boys walking over to where another student is seated on a bench on school grounds. Before more than a few words can be exchanged, one of the boys kicks the seated student squarely in the face, knocking him backwards to the ground.

The footage appears to have been taken via Snapchat, accompanied by an on-screen caption reading 'Look at this bully how [is] this funny'.

Another student can be seen filming the incident on an iPad.

A Western Heights spokesperson told NZME that the school would be taking disciplinary action against the perpetrator of the assault, who has been suspended from school.

"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 number one priority."

She says the school is proud of the students who intervened to help the victim, who was not injured but did not attend school on Thursday.

Police are working with Western Heights to determine if legal action is appropriate. 

Senior Sergeant Denton Grimes says the students involved in the altercation need help as well as discipline.

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

He says the strong social media reaction to the video was a positive thing.

“This is encouraging that people do not accept violence in our communities.”