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Boy Jumps Off 30-Floor Building Over Teacher’s Punishment

Scene of the incident.

Scene of the incident.

From Phoenix Online:

10-Year-Old Boy Jumps Off 30-Floor Building & Dies, Possibly Over 1,000-Word Self-Criticism

On the afternoon of October 30, Junjun of Grade 5 Class 1 of an elementary school in Chengdu jumped off the 30th floor of the apartment building he lived in, and died instantly at the scene. According to the residential community’s surveillance footage, at 5:53 pm of that afternoon, Junjun walked into the elevator with his head down, wearing a backpack. His home is on the 5th floor, but he didn’t go home and instead reached up and pressed the button of the 30th floor. A little more than 20 minutes later, at 6:15 pm, a Mr. Lin (pseudonym) who was watching his storefront in the residential community where the incident happened heard a loud “bang”. “It was like a car exploding, very loud.” The bang was from Junjun, when the foolish boy fell from the 30-floor building, and died instantly at the scene.

Junjun's Chinese textbook.

On the Chinese textbook left on the floor of the 30th floor, he left a message: Teacher, I can’t do it. I stopped myself many times before I jumped off the building. On the floor of the fire escape on the 30th floor lay the backpack Junjun carried everyday. Next to the backpack, lay open a Chinese textbook for first semester 5th grade students, and a pen and its cap crossed on the textbook.

Junjun's family members are crying.

Junjun's family members are crying.

At noon, the school had held a reading contest. While another classes was reading, Junjun was chatting with some other classmates, which caused the other classes to complain, and ask Junjun and his entire class to leave the room. Afterwards, Teacher Chen admonished the 10+ students who were responsible. After school, [Teacher Chen] also asked Junjun and 3 other students to stay behind, admonishing them again. “I gave them two punishments to choose from: One was to write a 1,000-word self-criticism, and the other was to stand for an hour.” According to Ms. Lin, Teacher Chen mentioned on the phone that upon hearing this, Junjun immediately began crying, asking what would happen if he isn’t able to write the 1,000-word self-criticism. Photos [above] are of the father and the mother of the boy and his family members crying by the coffin.

Junjun's family members are devested.

The family members of [Junjun] devested. Photographed Zhang Lei

Junjun's parents.

Parents of the boy.

Comments from Phoenix Online:

凤凰网山东省聊城市网友 lcleyouyou:

When something like this happens, many netizens blame it on teachers. The internet has demonized teachers. Which teacher dares to criticize children again? If teachers just let them be, what would our society become in the future? Besides feeling sorry for the death of the child, I think this kind of weak personality of the child is the result of his parents spoiling him.

凤凰网河北省唐山市网友 red122: (responding to above)

I’ve looked closely into the story behind this news and found some information: This child grew up in a divorced and remarried family. His parents got a divorce when he was 3. His father was not good with words. The stepmother he had later gave birth to another daughter. His mother would visit him once every two weeks. I think the child was more or less emotionally traumatized by his parents’ divorce, became extremely fragile and lacking in communication. Think about how when the child encountered trouble, instead of going to his parents, he chose to go home alone and jump off from the 30th floor. We can see that the child communicated very little with his family. How to put this? A child from a divorced family needs the care of society, the school, his relatives, etc. The parents and family environment are very important for a child’s growth.

凤凰网北京市网友 凤凰网友:

This teacher bears a large amount of responsibility. At least with regards to treating different children with different personalities, his approach was wrong.

凤凰网吉林省长春市网友 凤凰网友:

The child’s ability to endure hardship was too poor. The teacher did nothing wrong.

凤凰网河南省郑州市网友 guobingkun114:

Sigh, instead of choosing between a standing punishment or writing a self-criticism, he instead chooses to jump off a building! This must be a problem of family upbringing. Jumping off a building even over a small matter, what would he do if something big happened to him?!

凤凰网浙江省嘉兴市网友 凤凰网友:

Whose fault is this indeed? Having to write a 1,000-word self-criticism in the 5th grade, even my gaokao university entrance exam essay was only 800 words…

凤凰网广东省惠州市网友 lmr微笑:

Heart-breaking Chinese style education. In fact, many elementary school students are under a lot of pressure. They are not happy, and have lost the childhood innocence they should have.

凤凰网重庆市网友 ran5200:

Child, how could you have come up with this decision? My heart aches so much! I cry for you. I hope you find peace in heaven. In the arms of God, you no longer need to write self-criticisms, and you can have all the fun you want. On the day you resurrect, you will meet your parents again. Parents, I hope you no longer grieve, because it is God who has taken your child away. The environment here is too nasty. I hope you find peace soon. I hope the people in heaven pray for you together.

凤凰网中国网友 凤凰网友:

[The teacher probably] spoke without thinking, but children take it seriously. As a teacher, shouldn’t you be more patient?

凤凰网湖北省武汉市网友 凤凰网友:

To have a 10-year-old child write 1,000 words is indeed making things needlessly difficult [for the child]… Sigh.

Comments from Sina:

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手机用户 [江苏无锡]:

I think the teacher is also quite innocent/blameless. It’s not like he did anything to the child. The child’s stubbornness was too much. How are teachers supposed to manage children in the future?

手机用户 [广东湛江]: (responding to above)

Your whole family is innocent! You try writing an 1,000 words when you’re 10! This is not a teacher, this is a thug!

心境573 [江苏扬州]:

Don’t want to comment too much on this, just want everybody to pay attention to the following two things: First, “On the Teacher” says: ”As a teacher, one can propagate doctrines, impart professional knowledge, and resolve doubts.” Teachers, are the pathfinders of students for their study, are the guides of living, are the direction indicators of life. Teachers have a most philosophical title–engineers of human souls. Second, “10 years old”, at the tender young age of learning, can be called younglings. Younglings can be educated means little children can be taught things (later it means potential young people who can be brought up). Seeing the last words of the child written below the sacred “National Middle School & Elementary School Textbook Approval Committee”, I, wept, lost for words. Little baby Li Shichuang, rest in peace…

手机用户 [江苏泰州]:

How does this teacher not have a conscience? Did she hit the child or verbally abuse him? To jump off a building when asked to write a self-criticism, is this psychological tolerance of hardship the responsibility of the teacher more or the family’s upbringing? Nor can morality and ethics be judged like this. If it goes on like this in the future, is the teacher supposed to turn a blind eye when a child makes a mistake, or even clap and applaud with both hands approving of it? And only then your child won’t go jumping off a building?

手机用户 [山东青岛]:

I really don’t know what these reporters are up to in blaming it all on the teacher. What about the parents? We no longer give a damn the minute we drop off our children at school? If a child does well in school, it’s because the child himself is clever, but if he doesn’t do well, then it’s the teachers that can’t teach him well? The teacher had already talked with the parents, and the parents already knew what the teacher was going to do, so why elevate the child’s own problem to the level of the teacher being responsible? Should the teacher get down on his knees and beg the child to stop making a fuss? Those parents who have children, and those parents who don’t have children yet, you people think about this. If this goes on, will there still be any teachers left who dare to educate our children? Should we let our children be unruly? Wake up. There are also good teachers and bad teachers, but parents should pay more attention to their children, and communicate more with them.

sdklja [浙江温州]:

To be frank, how are teachers supposed to handle [children] nowadays? When we were young, teachers were even more direct and rough, with teachers nowadays so much more vulnerable and weak in comparison, and yet didn’t most of us grow up happily all the same? It’s the times that have changed, society that has changed, and the psychological/emotional tolerance of hardship of children that has changed. Jumping off buildings, running away from home, objectively, these aren’t a problem of school education, these are a lack of social education. My sympathies for the family members, rest in peace, little kid~

蓝与兰的心情 [江西宜春]:

A poor kid, a bad, immoral teacher. A 1,000 words self-criticism! How is he supposed to write such a thing? What could he write? Just 10 years old, my heart aches for you, little guy. What kind of courage must you have had to bring you to jump off the building, sigh…! Rest in peace, kid. This teacher, will your heart be in peace for the rest of your life?!!

手机用户 [上海]:

The child’s heart wasn’t strong enough, so can the teacher be the only one to be blamed? If [the child] couldn’t even take bear such a little blow, how is he supposed to survive in this society in the future? Everybody says there’s something wrong with this teacher’s method, but there’s an old saying in China: a strict teacher produces great apprentices. while a teacher that keeps backing down produces lazy and inferior apprentices.

What do you think? Is the teacher to be blamed?

Written by Peter Barefoot

Peter is a born and raised Chengdunese who enjoys drinking with all his friends.

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