10 Apr 2013

Tongan college principal apologises over filmed beating incident

8:29 pm on 10 April 2013

The principal of a Tongan college, where a beating was filmed and then released on the internet, has apologised to the victims and the public.

The 18 minute video, which was filmed in 2011, shows junior boarders at Tonga College being hit on their backs with a stick by a senior prefect who suspected them of taking his cellphone.

The principal, Kalafitoni Latu, says he only became aware of the video last week, but he does remember complaints being laid by parents in 2011.

Matangi Tonga reports the prefect, who is no longer at the school, was stood down and stripped of his title at the time.

However, Mr Latu says physical punishment is still used at Tonga College, but is limited to the worst students and only after other non-violent methods fail to solve the problem.

Corporal punishment is illegal in Tonga.