Three boys have been expelled after a "serious assault" at Otago Boys' High School in Dunedin where a student was reportedly cornered and repeatedly punched in a vicious attack.
Graphic footage of the attack shared with the Otago Daily Times shows a pupil reportedly cornered in a school bathroom by two other students and assaulted while another filmed.
A police spokesperson said police have received a report of a "serious assault" at Otago Boys High School (OBHS) on 15 June and are making enquiries.
Police said they are speaking with the offenders identified as having been involved.
The one-minute-long video shows the offender smiling at the camera while the victim reportedly asks "why are you doing this?"
The attacker responds by punching the victim in the chin and then encourages the boy filming to join in, who declines and says he doesn't have a problem with the victim.
In an attempt to stop the blows, the victim pulls out his wallet and offers it to the attacker.
"I don't want to fight," the victim reportedly tells the attackers as he appears to lose balance after sustaining another blow
But the attacker does not back down, punching the victim a couple more times, repeatedly knocking his head into a wall and then kicking him in the legs as he tries to escape.
"You won't f***ing snitch, aye? You won't f***ing snitch?" the attacker reportedly tells the victim before he walks away and the video ends.
OBHS acting rector Andrew King told the Otago Daily Times he was disappointed the video was being shared online.
"While we are dealing with the incident in the present, the re-harming through sharing on social media is much harder to deal with."
King this afternoon confirmed to RNZ that the three students had been permanently excluded following a disciplinary process involving the school's board.
The victim had returned to school and was being offered support.
"The school is assisting the police inquiry into the incident and also actively investigating to identify those who have shared the video," King said.
"It is working with New Zealand's online safety organisation, Netsafe, to remove the video from social media and restrict further harm caused by its distribution.
"Students are aware of the school's zero-tolerance for unacceptable behaviour in the school environment and its policies on bullying and digital safety. Earlier this year, an additional digital safety policy was introduced to ban the use of phones during the school day. Phones must remain switched off and students are aware that there are immediate consequences if they are caught using their phones.
"The incident has highlighted the need for strict regulations relating to the use of digital devices and the school will continue to respond with all its authority to protect students' emotional and physical safety.
"In the past year, the school has increased its counselling staff, instigated an improved rostering system to enable more staff to be circulating around the school, and introduced an online anonymous reporting system.
"The student who was assaulted has returned to school where he is being supported by counsellors and other students."