HALIFAX -- The images are disturbing: a student is repeatedly kicked by two others. While lying on the ground, others gather, using their cell phones to film.

"The images are very concerning and anyone who has seen it I'm sure would feel very disgusted by that as everyone is," said Doug Hadley, spokesperson for the Halifax Regional Centre for Education or HRCE.

Hadley confirms the people in the video are students at Citadel High School.

He says it happened Thursday afternoon, on a section of the Halifax Common across from the school. The school became aware of the incident on Friday, and contacted police.

"There's a narrative on social media that's circulating that the person on the ground is actually someone with special needs. That's actually not true. It's actually very hurtful to that family that's involved. So we need to be very careful that what we're saying and sharing on social media is actually accurate," said Hadley.


Taylor LePage is a former student of Citadel High School and saw the video online.

"I was just disgusted. It turned my stomach automatically, I was just like what the hell is happening? It was just deeply disturbing to me," said LePage.

Hadley says the school is taking the incident very seriously.

"There have been consequences," he said. "I can't get into the details of what those consequences are from a school's perspective, but it's a matter that's being taken very seriously by the school."

Halifax Regional Police was not available for an interview Saturday but issued a statement Friday evening about the incident.

"We can confirm that we have an ongoing investigation into this matter. Due to the age of the parties involved, we are unable to provide specific details," the statement read, in part.

“We would like to assure the public that we take the matter seriously and are taking all necessary steps in this ongoing matter," an HRP spokesperson wrote in the statement.

"The family has actually given the school permission to share with the community that they are ok and they were actually in school on Friday," said Hadley.

"If you've seen the video, it would be helpful if people didn't share it further," he said. "Police have it. They are aware of it. It will be part of their investigation."

In an email sent to families of Citadel High students, Principal Joe Morrison said, in part:

"I want to thank everyone who emailed or called to bring this incident to our attention. Police are investigating and we will support them as needed. If your child has any information about the incident, I would encourage them to reach out to a trusted adult at the school or contact police."

"If your child needs someone to speak with at school, please let us know and we will connect them with the appropriate support," the statement continued.

Both the school and police say they are continuing to investigate.