China probes schoolgirl’s suicidal jump

November 22nd, 2011 - 3:41 pm ICT by IANS  

Beijing, Nov 22 (IANS) Authorities in China are probing the death of a 13-year-old schoolgirl who is suspected to have jumped to her death last week following corporal punishment meted out to her at the school.

According to an initial investigation, the teacher’s decision to give her corporal punishment might have provoked the schoolgirl to commit suicide in Luoyang, a city in Henan province, the China Daily reported.

A mathematics teacher punished the girl and several of her classmates for not doing their homework on time by making them do squat thrusts — an exercise in which a person first squats down, then thrusts his legs out horizontal to the ground, then returns to the squatting position and finally stands up - said a report by the educational bureau.

The report described the teacher’s commands “corporal punishment in disguised form”.

Han Jingquan, deputy chief and spokesman of the Luoyang city’s educational department, while promising a stern action against anyone found guilty, rebutted the allegations made by an unnamed source on an internet forum.

The post, which linked the girl’s suicide directly to the punishment, said she was required to do 800 squat thrusts and was beaten and insulted by her teacher after which she had fallen over due to exhaustion.

The girl jumped from a six-storey building Friday afternoon, it alleged.

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