Chinese schoolboys end up in hospital after teacher forced them to swallow cigarette ash as punishment for smoking

Pupils needed treatment for nicotine poisoning after they were made to drink ‘ash tea’

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 04 July, 2018, 5:45pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 04 July, 2018, 5:45pm

Two schoolboys in central China needed hospital treatment for nicotine poisoning after a teacher forced them to drink water mixed with cigarette ash after they were caught smoking, local media reported.

The Dahe Daily reported that a teacher at Xinqidian Training School in Luoyang in Henan province caught three pupils smoking last Thursday.

The third pupil apparently suffered no ill effects from the punishment, but the other two are still in hospital, according to a teacher at the school.

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“One of the students is in a stable condition now and can be discharged within one to two days,” the teacher said. But added that the other boy, nicknamed Xiaobao was in a more serious condition and would spend longer in hospital.

 Xiaobao’s father, identified only by his surname Guo, told the newspaper the pupils had been ordered to finish two packets of cigarettes they had bought.

 “When they couldn’t finish the remaining cigarettes, the teacher put the ashes of the cigarettes they managed to smoke into cups of water, and then he forced them to drink it,” said the boy’s father.

 In an audio recording of Xiaobao provided by his father, the boy said the teacher forced them to drink “ash tea” to get them to quit smoking.

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The report said the punishment was the responsibility of 23-year-old male teacher of “living studies” surnamed Wang who had only been at the school for two weeks.

He has not been charged with any crime but staff said they had spoken to him to ensure there would be no repetition.  

“This teacher is relatively young and he carried out the act without thinking of the consequences,” another teacher told the newspaper.

Guo said that after several meetings with the district education bureau, the school had agreed to pay his family compensation of 15,000 yuan (US$2,270) and medical costs of 800 yuan. It was not reported whether the other boy would receive a payoff.

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 A spokesperson for the education bureau told the newspaper that the school and parents have reached a settlement and the authority has demanded the school improve its safety protocols and overall atmosphere.

“We have told the school to correct the situation within seven days, and hand in an improvement report, and we will conduct a thorough inspection,” said the spokesperson.

 “If the school is still not up to standard, we will issue a notice of suspension and later withdraw their school licence.”

 Du Pang, a lawyer with Henan Luotai Law, told the newspaper that forcing students to drink “ash tea” could be considered a physical punishment and both the school and the teacher could have faced prosecution. 

China’s national law states that “schools shall not allow underage students to operate in activities, as well as other educational and teaching facilities that endanger their personal safety and health”.