THREE pupils at a Northern Irish school have been suspended after a video they made mocking people with Down's Syndrome went viral.
The year 11 students from Regent House Grammar School in Newtownards, Co Down were punished after making a video re-enacting a scene from a National Lottery advert celebrating 25 years of supporting good causes.
Their actions have been described as "repulsive and vile" after being viewed over 100,000 times online.
The original ad features singing by three people living with the genetic disorder, which is associated with physical growth delays and characteristic facial features.
The students' video was originally uploaded to social networking app TikTok.
In the footage, the teenagers appear to gleefully mock the people with Down's Syndrome, mimicking the song they sing.
Rather stupidly, they were all wearing their school uniforms, prompting the administration to take action.
A spokesperson for the school insisted it is taking the matter "very seriously".
"We encourage respect for everyone," they said.
"We want our pupils to value everyone equally and encourage them to do this through our work in classrooms, our extracurricular programmes and through our carefully considered pastoral care provision," the school spokesperson added.
The video is now being shared online by furious parents around the UK to highlight the new and disturbing trend and has been viewed by almost 100,000 people since the weekend.
A boy, aged between 14 and 15, also makes offensive face and hand gestures in the short clip that has been branded "disgusting" by thousands of irate social media users.
They also appear to drool from their mouths, imitate "the autistic kid" sitting a math test and use filters to distort their faces.
"This is a repulsive and vile trend that needs stopping in its tracks right now," one mother seeking to alert other parents wrote on Facebook.
"How many lives will suffer at their hands?" Another asked.
There were some who argued that, while the video was deeply offensive and warranted punishment, because the culprits were teenagers, we shouldn't get too carried away with vilifying the students.
"They're 14. They're stupid children being stupid children. If the internet was around when I was a kid I'm sure I'd be in all sorts of trouble," one user wrote.