A video of a student being brutally beaten by a teacher in China has gone viral, sparking a heated debate about child safety in schools.
On May 10, a ninth-grade student surnamed Liu from a secondary school in Zhaotong, Yunnan province, southwestern China, was filmed being beaten by a teacher surnamed Ma after dozing off in class.
In the video, the teacher first shook Liu by grabbing his hair before dragging him from his seat and pushing him to the floor. Ma then kicked him before dragging the boy from the classroom.
“After seeing me dozing off, the teacher came over and hit me,” Liu later said.
“Our other teachers usually tell a sleeping student to stand up and listen to the lesson, but our head teacher was rather grumpy,” he added.
Liu said that after the incident, Ma continued in his teaching job without repercussions until May 21, when the video spread on social media.
Liu’s elder brother, 16, and other families with students at the school only found out what happened after seeing the video online.
“For more than 10 days after my brother was beaten, neither the school nor the local education department contacted me or other relatives,” the elder brother told The Paper.
According to the brother, this was not the first time the teacher had beaten Liu.
“Ma slapped him several times previously, but not as hard as this time,” he said.
“My brother did not dare to tell us what happened, and I was heartbroken after seeing the video.”
The brother said that since the attack Liu has been attending classes as usual, but he is concerned that the incident will cause psychological trauma to his brother. Liu is about to take the zhongkao , mainland China’s one-size-fits-all exam that students take after their nine-year compulsory education to enter senior school.
“There is only a month until he has to take zhongkao, and I am concerned that the incident will have an impact on his performance, or more seriously, his later life,” the brother said.
To provide Liu with a safer study environment, his brother said that their uncle will take Liu home to help him prepare for the upcoming examination.
On May 22, the local government announced that the teacher Ma’s job level had been lowered and he had been transferred to a non-teaching role.
This article was first published in South China Morning Post.