A high-school English teacher in Mianyang's Yanting County slapped a student repeatedly last week, leaving the student's cheeks bruised and one of her eyes bleeding.
On the afternoon of June 19, Xiao Xia (alias given to the student by local media)'s father was at work when he received an unexpected call from Xiao Xia's classmate, who said that Xiao Xia had been hit by her teacher. Xiao Xia's father sent his sister and brother-in-law to investigate. They reported that Xiao Xia's injuries were serious and that the teacher had already paid RMB400 in hospital fees.
Xiao Xia said that she was in English class, her last class before lunchtime. Her teacher had told the students to purchase RMB12 worth of English studying materials, but summer holidays were only a month away, so although Xiao Xia's grandmother had given her the money, Xiao Xia had decided not to buy the books. The evening before the beating, Xiao Xia's teacher had said that any students who hadn't purchased the books need not bother enter the classroom the next day. Thus, June 19th found Xiao Xia standing outside the classroom alongside the other students who hadn't purchased the course materials. When the teacher came outside, several of the students were giggling, apparently provoking the teacher to slap two of them across the face. Finally, the teacher told Xiao Xia to go to the office, where she was slapped a dozen times.
The teacher, identified only as "Teacher Pu," does not deny hitting the students. But Pu does deny that the provocation was that Xiao Xia hadn't purchased the books. Furthermore, Pu claims to be emotionally imbalanced and unable to control her anger.
According to the school regulations, once the term's coursework has been completed, students can elect to continue their studies with additional materials that should be purchased at that time.
On the day of the incident, Pu was teaching the students who had chosen to purchase the coursework inside the classroom while the other students—a dozen or so—stood outside, gossipping and laughing. Pu said the noise was disrupting the class and when she went outside to reprimand them, she saw Xiao Xia, the best student among those outside. Enraged, Pu beckoned Xiao Xia to the office.
"I have an illness," explained Pu. "The most prominent characteristic of this illness is that I become extremely angry. When I was asking what happened, I couldn't not control myself and slapped Xiao Xia." Pu continued, "After it happened, I realized what I had done was a mistake, and right away gave Xiao Xia's relative RMB400 to take her to the hospital."
Pu's senior, Liu Zongyu, said that Pu is a good teacher and concerned for the students' well-being. "Of course," Liu added, "hitting a student isn't right. Pu has already apologized to the student's parents and moreover agrees to financially compensate the family."
Since the incident, Xiao Xia has refused to return to school. Over a week later the bruises on her face are gone, but the memories still remain.
"I hope that the teacher can give us some compensation for the damage done to our daughter's psyche, as well as for our lost wages since we had to take several days off work in order to take care of our daughter," said Xiao Xia's father. Pu has agreed to a compensation of RMB2000 and expressed her hopes to see Xiao Xia in order to talk things over with her.