A student who spread online rumours that his own headmaster had been arrested in the Dongguan sex trade crackdown has escaped punishment.
The 17-year-old, who has not been named, Photoshopped an image of the headmaster on to footage of the raid and posted the doctored picture online, along with the name of the headmaster and high school in Yibin city, Sichuan province.
The student superimposed a photo of the headmaster, Liu Bin, on to a screengrab of a CCTV presenter announcing the raid and even altered a headline to read as though the headmaster had been arrested.
The boy, who disliked school, had hoped his plan would delay the start of the spring term.
After uploading the image on to the internet, it spread so quickly he deleted the post and even wrote another post to counter the rumour – but he was powerless to stop the viral sharing of the photo.
Liu said that a friend called him to warn him about the photo. Furious, he reported the incident to local education authorities and the police, the West China City Daily reported.
Later, it was reported Liu received a tip-off that the photo was made by one of his own students.
School officials said they finally disproved the rumour by hosting an opening ceremony on time. The student’s original post had claimed that since the headmaster had been caught in the raid the spring ceremony had been cancelled.
The headmaster even gave a speech at the ceremony – without mentioning the rumours – and the school later posted photos of day online.
The student behind the rumours escaped punishment from both the authorities and the school.
Instead, school officials advised his parents to let him “calm down” at home after he reportedly suffered anxiety and guilt following the incident, according to the West China City Daily.