Chinese teenager jailed for life after stabbing teacher to death with fruit knife in row over grades

  • Court heard that pupil struck to conceal poor class performance from parents
  • Offender’s youth and admission of guilt resulted in leniency from court
PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 11 December, 2018, 3:03pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 11 December, 2018, 10:46pm

A teenager from central China has been sentenced to life in prison for stabbing his teacher to death, news site Thepaper.cn reported on Monday.

Yiyang Intermediate People’s Court in Hunan province heard that on 12 November last year, the boy – who was 16 at the time – pulled a fruit knife on his teacher, 47, at Yuanjiang No 3 Middle School.

The court, which sat in private because the defendant is a minor, heard that the boy was unhappy with his teacher’s criticism and did not want his parents to know about his school performance.

School bullies face tougher penalties in Chinese province

The boy, now 17, stabbed the teacher, surnamed Bao, several times as Bao was about to telephone the student’s mother.

The teacher was pronounced dead at the scene.

The court ruled that the crime was intentional homicide, and said that the defendant was given a lighter sentence because he is a minor and admitted his crime.

A local official told Thepaper.cn that the teacher was an “excellent” professional and his student’s grades were at the top of the class.

In China, the age of criminal responsibility is 14. In July, a 13-year-old boy who attacked a 14-year old girl in Hubei province was let off by the local court because he was not past the age of criminal responsibility.

Legal and youth protection experts have called for the age of criminal responsibility to be lowered. The average age of juvenile offenders aged between 14 and 18 has fallen in the past eight years, a report compiled last year by a court in Beijing said.

Research in 2014 by the China Youth and Children Research Centre suggested that 14-year-olds accounted for 20 per cent of all juvenile offenders, up 8 per cent from the figure in 2001, Jinghua Times reported in 2015.

Student-on-teacher violence is rare in China because of cultural respect for teachers which is a part of traditional Confucian values.

In 2015, a Hunan high schoolteacher was stabbed to death by his student after a dispute, while in 2013 a student in Jiangxi province slit his teacher’s throat after his mobile phone was confiscated.