Officials in Bengkulu have reversed the expulsion of a high school student, whose viral TikTok video mocking Palestinians became the subject of nationwide outrage last week.
Her readmission to school was confirmed by the Commission for the Protection of Indonesian Children (KPAI) this morning, who has been among the most vocal in arguing that she should not have been robbed of her right to an education over the video.
"She's now being returned to her parents; it's akin to a suspension," KPAI Commissioner Retno Listyarti said in a written statement this morning, adding that the grade 11 student will continue to study remotely until the remaining few weeks of the academic year.
The commission said MS has been bullied by peers over the video, and that the local education board will facilitate a school transfer should she seek one. "She should be given a chance to correct herself from the mistake that she made," Retno said.
The Association for Education and Teachers (P2G) said it suspects the girl's expulsion has turned into a political matter, with the province's education board unilaterally pushing for the expulsion while Bengkulu's governor opined that she should keep her place in school.
In her video, the girl called Palestinians "pigs" and that they deserve to be massacred. When the police got involved due to a possible Information and Electronic Transactions Act (UU ITE) violation, she said she only posted the video as a joke.
The girl was not charged with violation of UU ITE, unlike a young man in West Nusa Tenggara (NTB) who posted a similar video and may face up to six years in prison for online hate speech under the law.