THE Ministry of Education has ordered a full investigation into the alleged beating of a group of Natabua High School students because of their perceived sexual orientation.
The assault of the 10 students allegedly took place on school property last weekend.
Education permanent secretary Dr Brij Lal said a brief report had been submitted to the ministry by ministry officials from the West.
"I can confirm a very brief report has been given to me by my officials at the divisional office and I have asked them to investigate this issue further," said Dr Lal to The Fiji Times.
"These allegations are very serious and we do not tolerate this kind of behaviour in schools.
"We have a bullying policy in place and that is something that we take seriously."
He said if investigations proved the alleged assault on the group of 10 victims was true, the ministry would take further action.
"We'll see what we'll do if facts are proven.
"We might have to go to the police, provide counselling sessions for the students and we may even suspend some people but all of that will be confirmed once I get a full report."
Efforts to get comments from the principal of Natabua High School, Sashi Kumar, proved futile.
A boarder told this newspaper the alleged incident occurred in the early hours of Saturday morning.
The student claimed a few senior students decided on the assault on the basis of their sexual orientation.
He said several of the victims suffered serious injuries, including broken jaws, swollen heads and bruised arms and legs.
A parent of one of the victims, who wished not to be named, said he was awaiting further action from the school and the ministry.
"I've been told that four of the boys that were involved have been suspended for two weeks," the parent said.
"I'm hoping that more is done by the school like provide counselling for the students and those that were involved to be removed from the hostel on a permanent basis.
"This is a serious matter and I hope that the school and the ministry do the right thing."
The alleged incident was first raised through social media Facebook by Haus of Khameleon member Suli Waqa.
Mr Waqa said the alleged incident sparked serious human and gay rights concerns.
"If nothing is done about this, then what sort of example are we setting our children," he said.
"We have to stop this kind of behaviour and we are calling on the Ministry of Education, the school and the police to take the necessary actions against these students who committed this violent act.
"If we don't, then these students will have that mind-set that it is OK to assault someone who is gay."