Boy left to 'beg for food' on his knees as punishment for not doing homework

Police who found a boy begging at Shanghai railway station early on Thursday discovered he was left there by his father as punishment for not finishing his homework, reported.

Officers responded to a 4.45am call that a boy with a schoolbag was on his knees, begging for food, the website said on Tuesday. The child, who had only a jacket for warmth, told them he was left there 45 minutes earlier when his father went to work. "I was reported by the teacher. I didn't finish my homework," the boy said.

The father gave him a bowl and told him to kneel and "beg for food as punishment", he said. Asked if his father was drunk, the boy said "no".

The officers took him to the police station, gave him a hot drink and biscuits and contacted his mother, who arrived an hour later with an overcoat.

The mother of the 10-year-old boy left to beg for food at a railway station received a lecture from Shanghai police. PHOTO: Miaopai via South China Morning Post

She said the father was very upset that their son was often reported for not doing his homework but that she did not agree with the father's reaction.

The officers told her children should not be punished by forcing them to beg, which damaged their self-esteem and disrupted public order.

On social media, readers said they understood the father's frustration but that he had put his son in danger.

"I could imagine the father was living a difficult life since he had to get up and work after midnight and he must be very angry that the boy did not work hard," said one user on Weibo, China's Twitter-like network. "But begging at the railway station is too dangerous for the child."

"What was the father thinking?" another wrote. "It would be too late if anything happened to the child. Thank goodness the police were involved."

This article was first published in South China Morning Post.