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China Prohibits Humiliating Punishments in Schools

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Chinese teachers are no longer allowed to give humiliating punishments that could cause physical or psychological trauma.


The tightened rules forbid hitting or insulting students. Also, teachers are not allowed to force students to kneel or stand for hours.

The Ministry of Education tightened up after students who had been severely punished died. This may have happened after they were beaten or because they committed suicide after being humiliated at school.

How teachers who break the rules are punished has not been disclosed.

Students who make minor mistakes – for example, forgetting to do homework – are expected to write a letter of apology or perform specific tasks in class. Students who commit more serious mistakes, such as by bullying or intimidation, maybe temporarily expelled from school or received psychological counselling.

Corporal punishment has been banned in China since 1986, but it is far from being observed everywhere. Parliament is expected to pass a law soon banning corporal punishment in homeschooling.

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