Footage of safety training exercise at Malaysia school falsely shared as 'rampage'

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A video of a man shouting and wielding a stick in a school yard has attracted tens of thousands of views in social media posts falsely claiming it shows a father confronting a teacher who beat his son. The footage actually shows a safety training exercise at a school in Malaysia, according to the school and local police.

"The father is angry that his son was beaten. He came to school with a wooden stick (not sure which school)," reads a Malay-language Facebook post shared on February 1, 2023.

The one-minute video, which has been viewed more than 57,000 times, shows a man wielding a stick shouting and pacing around a yard, while another man talks to him, apparently trying to calm him down.

Screenshot of a Facebook post sharing the false claim, taken on February 9, 2023

The video also circulated with a similar claim on Facebook here and here, and on Twitter, garnering a total of more than 128,000 views.

Some social media users appeared to believe the footage showed a genuine confrontation at a school.

"The problem is the teacher hit (the student) really hard. That's why the father came. Maybe until he was bruised and bleeding. That's the reason," one comment read.

"This is how children are raised now, they cannot be caned and punished. Parents will get angry and sue the school," said another.

Screenshots of Facebook users' comments

Malaysian news site Majoriti used screenshots from the video in an article headlined: "Child beaten, father goes berserk and brings a stick to school".

"CHAOS on social media on Tuesday when a man reportedly went on a rampage at a school," said the article published on January 31, 2023. "It is understood that the rage was caused when his child was beaten by one of the teachers who taught at the school."

The report did not give the time or location of the purported incident, and said it was unclear if the video was "merely an act".

Majoriti later published another article clarifying that the footage showed a safety exercise.

Safety demonstration

A reverse image search and keyword searches found similar videos and photos in a Facebook post uploaded by SK Taman Warisan Puteri, a school in Seremban, a city in Malaysia's state of Negeri Sembilan.

The Facebook post, published on February 1, 2023, says in Malay: "Safety demonstration training: Training to deal with rampage

"Objective: preparation and training for students and teachers for an incident at school. Preparation to act to save yourself if an incident happens at school."

One of the videos in the post shows the man with the stick shouting in the yard. A fire alarm is also heard in the background.

The scene in the video shared in a false context (below left) corresponds to the one in SK Taman Warisan Puteri's Facebook post (below right):

Screenshot comparison of the video shared in a false context (left) and SK Taman Warisan Puteri's video (right)

One of the photos show the two men in identical clothing as the ones in the video shared in the false context. The caption of the school photo post reads: "Teachers explain to students how they can save themselves if there is an unwanted incident."

Below is a screenshot comparison of the video shared in the false context (left) and SK Taman Warisan Puteri's photo (right):

Screenshot comparison of the video shared in the false context (left) and SK Taman Warisan Puteri's photo (right)

AFP was not able to trace the exact video shared in a false context on social media.

Meanwhile, local police published a statement on its Facebook page, dispelling false rumours that the footage showed a rampage at the school.

"People are advised to stop making speculation and baseless statements regarding the video," Seremban District Police said on February 7, 2023, confirming the footage showed a training exercise at SK Taman Warisan Puteri.

Local media UtusanTV and Kosmo also debunked the false claim.