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A teacher in China punched a student, leaving lacerations under the eye (left) from broken eyeglasses (right). Photo: SCMP composite

Chinese teen receives 16 stitches on face after being punched by teacher for not paying attention in class

  • The attack broke the student’s eyeglasses, leaving multiple cuts across his face
  • It was the second incident of a brutal attack by a teacher against a student in mainland China in recent weeks

A school principal in northwest China fired a teacher on Saturday who punched a 15-year-old student so hard it shattered his eyeglasses, causing injuries that required 16 stitches.

The incident from May 13 sparked a debate in mainland China about whether teachers should be held liable for hitting students because it was the second such incident that has gone viral in the past month.
The teacher at Yuanzhu Middle School in Yulin, in Shaanxi province in northwest China, also punched the boy, surnamed Geng, in the chest. The attack broke his eyeglasses, cutting up his face so severely it required 16 stitches.

After the attack, the teacher took Geng to the local hospital for medical treatment, according to ParticleNews, a Chinese news aggregation platform. The hospital gave the boy simple sutures for the cuts that included a 2-cm long laceration next to his lower eyelid.

The shattered glasses that broke after Geng was punched in the face. Photo: Weibo

According to the parents’ text messaging history, the teacher told the family that he was taking Geng to hospital, but did not tell them about the stitches or what happened.

Afterwards, Geng’s mother, referring to the sloppy suturing, told the teacher: “For a second time you have caused the child severe physical and mental injury, and we are hurting inside.”

Worried about scarring, Geng’s father brought his son to hospital in Xian, the capital city of Shaanxi, for additional treatment.

“My son said his face was too ugly to look at and he did not want to go to school any more because the stitches gave him anxiety,” Geng’s father said. “He could not attend school until his scars have healed.”

According to the father, the physics teacher had previously beaten other students, but this was the most severe incident.

The teacher apologised to the family, but they were unsatisfied with the outcome and said they would pursue additional punitive actions.

The principal who fired the teacher, surnamed Li, said: “The case has been filed with the local police department and handed over to them.”

We are hurting inside.
Geng’s mother

On May 10, a ninth-grade student in Zhaotong, in Yunnan province in southwest China, was brutally beaten by a teacher for dozing off in class.

The frequency of the two incidents infuriated people in China, and parents expressed concerns about their children’s safety in schools.

“This is a violent crime and the teacher should be punished under the law,” said one user on Weibo, China’s Twitter-like platform. “If the cost of breaking the law is low, then safety is compromised and the law loses its dignity.”

Another wrote: “Irresponsible and bad teachers plant extremely negative or hateful seeds in young minds.”