School is­sues state­ment in­sist­ing in­ci­dent was ‘not bul­ly­ing’

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - CHINA - By ZHAO XINYING zhaoxiny­ing@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Bei­jing’s Zhong­guan­cun No 2 Pri­mary School is­sued a state­ment on Tues­day, in­sist­ing that an in­ci­dent in­volv­ing a fourth­grade stu­dent was not bul­ly­ing.

The stu­dent had a wastepa­per bas­ket from a bath­room thrown at him and was mocked by class­mates, lead­ing to him suf­fer­ing acute stress dis­or­der.

“We feel ter­ri­bly sorry and apol­o­gize sin­cerely for the hurt brought to stu­dents and par­ents in­volved in the in­ci­dent,” the school said in the state­ment, ad­ding that it will deal with the in­ci­dent ob­jec­tively and fairly, while mak­ing ef­forts to forge har­mo­nious re­la­tion­ships among stu­dents on cam­pus.

An on­line post by the boy’s mother about a week ago at­tracted wide pub­lic at­ten­tion and trig­gered heated dis­cus­sions on how ed­u­ca­tion au­thor- ities, the school and par­ents should han­dle the in­ci­dent.

The school tried to me­di­ate be­tween both sides in­volved in the in­ci­dent and is­sued a state­ment on Satur­day, but an agree­ment has not been reached, as the school “has a dif­fer­ent view on the na­ture of the in­ci­dent” from the par­ents of the fourth-grade stu­dent, Yang Gang, prin­ci­pal of the school, told China Ed­u­ca­tion Daily on Tues­day.

“The par­ents of the boy re­quested we de­fine the in­ci­dent as bul­ly­ing, but we can­not do that,” Yang said.

The par­ents of the two ac­cused apol­o­gized, but de­nied that their sons had done any­thing that could be deemed as bul­ly­ing.

Yang added that in­ves­ti­ga­tions by the school showed that the in­ci­dent was one of an ac­ci­den­tal na­ture, and that the stu­dents in­volved had not had any pre­vi­ous con­flicts or dis­putes prior to the in­ci­dent.

Shen Xu, a vol­un­teer from Bei­jing who has trav­eled the coun­try for sev­eral years to work with schools to re­duce bul­ly­ing, said bul­ly­ing con­tains three main com­po­nents, ac­cord­ing to Swedish re­searcher Dan Ol­weus: ag­gres­sive be­hav­ior that in­volves un­wanted, neg­a­tive ac­tions; a pat­tern of be­hav­ior re­peated over time; and an im­bal­ance of power or strength.

Wang Dawei, a pro­fes­sor of crime stud­ies at the Peo­ple’s Pub­lic Se­cu­rity Uni­ver­sity of China, said bul­ly­ing on cam­pus is not a fixed term in law and is of­ten mixed with cam­pus vi­o­lence in China.

Ruan Qilin, a law pro­fes­sor at China Uni­ver­sity of Po­lit­i­cal Science and Law, said bul­ly­ing on cam­pus refers to ver­bal hu­mil­i­a­tion, ex­tor­tion and even phys­i­cal abuse.

“Pri­mary school stu­dents need guid­ance in their growth,” Ruan said, ad­ding that the in­ci­dent should make par­ents, schools and so­ci­ety as a whole re­flect on how they are ed­u­cat­ing chil­dren.

The par­ents of the boy re­quested we de­fine the in­ci­dent as bul­ly­ing, but we can­not do that.”

Yang Gang, prin­ci­pal of Zhong­guan­cun No 2 Pri­mary School in Bei­jing

Xin­hua con­trib­uted to this story.

LI JIANMING / FOR CHINA DAILY

A woman who is preg­nant with her sec­ond child re­ceives a check-up in Nei­jiang, Sichuan prov­ince, in March.

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