01/06/2015 12:38 EST | Updated 03/08/2015 05:59 EDT

Online video sparks bullying investigation

A dramatic video of what appears to be bullying on a P.E.I. school ground has prompted a police investigation and gathered more than two million views online.

Three Oaks Senior High School principal Nicole Haire confirmed to CBC News on Tuesday the video shows a student from her school in Summerside badgering another student. The student throws punches at him while the apparent target tries to walk away. A group of other students looks on and encourages the two to fight.

The video ends when another young male enters the action, confronts the instigator and then punches him, knocking him to the ground.

“He doesn’t want to fight,” he says.

The date of the incident isn't known. Since the video was posted, it has gathered 2.4 million views and thousands of comments.

Principal had to wait to act

“It’s disturbing to see anything like that,” said Haire.

Haire said she heard about the video while the school was closed for the holidays, and had to wait until classes resumed Monday to act.

On Sunday, police began investigating, and Haire said that is limiting what the school can do.

“We can proceed with the discipline from what we know, but we can’t do a lot of interviewing and things until the police finish their investigation,” she said.

Haire said she cannot discuss how the students would be disciplined.

The incident is disappointing, she said.

Haire was aware from the outset that the whole school’s reputation would be affected by what a few people in the video were doing. She said it is an unfortunate fact of social media that once a video is out there there is no calling it back.

“The kids involved, I think, are a little bit surprised by how quickly it went viral, and that’s been an education.

“It’s on an actual fight site, and it just saddens me that a) sites like this exist, and b) that people frequent them. Once things get out like that … you can’t get it back.”

Sgt. Joe Peters of Summerside police said the incident is part of an active assault investigation.