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Controversial teacher's physical punishment sparks debate
Author: EnglishTeacher    2023-06-01


An online debate has erupted on Chinese social media surrounding a primary school teacher in southern China who was initially fired for using physical punishment on more than 10 students but later received support from dozens of parents who advocated for her to stay on. 


The incident took place at a primary school in Dongguan, Guangdong province, where a teacher from the second grade disciplined a group of students who had made inappropriate finger gestures during class. According to Guangdong TV, the teacher made the students perform a martial arts squatting stance for an extended period while she struck them with a stick.


The teacher's identity was not disclosed in the report, and it remains unclear if any students were injured as a result of the punishment. However, the unnamed primary school teacher has since apologized to the disciplined students, acknowledging her mistake. When the school decided to terminate her employment, 44 out of the 47 parents of students in her class appealed to the school authorities, expressing their satisfaction with the teacher's overall performance and urging them to retain her.


One parent, whose name was not mentioned, stated that she did not hold the teacher solely responsible for her actions and believed that the teacher had acted impulsively. She expressed her willingness to give the teacher another chance to rectify her mistakes. Another parent, a father, also voiced support for the teacher, citing his own strict parenting style and trust in her capabilities.


Although the report did not provide insights from the students or mention any injuries they may have suffered, the majority of parents were firmly against the teacher's dismissal and advocated for her reinstatement. In her public apology, the teacher expressed regret for her behavior and emphasized her inappropriate use of corporal punishment.


Qin Qianfeng, a senior member of the school, spoke highly of the teacher's competence and emphasized that she was respected by the majority of parents for her teaching abilities. Qin highlighted the teacher's effectiveness in the classroom, often resulting in the class winning honorary flags, and expressed hope for her continued role at the school.

The case has garnered significant attention on social media, with a majority of individuals showing support for physical punishment and expressing their reluctance to give up on a good teacher. 


Some suggested that teachers should no longer discipline students and that it should be the sole responsibility of parents. There were even calls for the reintroduction of physical punishment in the form of the ferule, a long ruler traditionally used to discipline misbehaving children by slapping their hands.

However, not all online commenters supported the use of physical punishment. One individual stated their disapproval of the teacher's actions, highlighting that while making students perform the martial arts squatting stance may be acceptable, physically beating them was inappropriate.



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