MELROSE (CBS) – School officials in Melrose said they are “outraged” by the behavior of students who imitated an episode of South Park by kicking redheaded students in the hallways of the city’s middle school.

In a statement, school officials said a group of seventh grade students At Melrose Veterans Memorial Middle School targeted students with red hair after seeing an episode of South Park called “Kick a Ginger.”

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Staff members became aware of the incidents Friday morning after injured students went to the nurse’s office.

“We are outraged by the behavior and poor decisions made by a group of students and we are concerned for both the victims and the aggressors for the impact that this will have them,” Melrose Public Schools said in a statement. “And we are incredibly disappointed.  At the Melrose Public Schools we take the safety of all our students very seriously.”

The district said in its statement that it is also concerned that staff members did not know about the hallway behavior until it was reported to the nurse.

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Over the weekend, Principal Brent Conway watched surveillance video from the hallways and spoke with students and families who were involved in the kicking incidents.

In addition, school officials have been in contact with the Melrose Police Department to determine if any student committed assault.

The investigation into the incidents and subsequent disciplinary hearings are expected to last another week.

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“As educators we need to turn these incidents into teachable moments so that students learn from their actions and do no repeat them,” the district’s statement said.