IWATE (TR) – Officials at a school here on Tuesday downplayed a video released on social media that shows a student from the baseball team confined in a small space behind bars and being bullied.
The video in question, which shows the student from Hanamaki Minami High School in Iwate Prefecture confined behind bars in a tiny space as he repeatedly pleads to other students to “give my phone back,” was recorded about a month ago and posted on Twitter on Monday, Nikkan Sports reports (October 25).
Officials said at a press conference on Tuesday that the video was filmed on school grounds where students can freely come and go, and added “it’s not a cage” without offering more details.
The video, which was widely circulated by the media, shows the student being confined behind bars in what appears to be a tiny concrete space as numerous students derided him with jeers and laughed, taunting him with words like “we’ll feed you” and “seriously, stay there overnight” while he repeatedly pleaded and screamed for them to give back his mobile phone.
The bullied student also appears to cry near the start of the 30-second footage.
School officials launched an investigation and questioned each of the 41 members of the school’s baseball club, and said they learned that the confined student, who was wearing a uniform in the video, was a member of the club and is still regularly attending school.
The student was not confined until the next morning as some netizens were claiming, officials learned from questioning the members, but were unable to ascertain whether bullying is a daily occurrence.