Military training brawl in central China spurs online outrage



Photo – Internet





Military training brawl

in central China

spurs online outrage



By Zhong Qun and Li Dan



A brawl between military training instructors and a cohort of high school students in central China has made a splash online and drawn a wave of debate among Chinese netizens.

The situation escalated after the local government required the withdrawal of all the military training instructors for Grade One students in Huangcang Middle School of Longshan County, Hunan Province.

Two local armed forces officials were sacked and the teacher implicated in the case was temporarily removed from his post following the incident, the local publicity department said in a statement on Tuesday night of August 26.

A total of 42 people, including 40 students, were hurt in a fight that occurred around 4:30 p.m. Sunday of August 24. It began when a female student argued with one of the instructors, according to the statement.

Following the quarrel, the military instructors were tough on students, causing outrage and leading to a physical fight between them. The head teacher was attacked during the chaos.

Students later vented their anger by smashing classroom doors and windows, cutting their hands and hurting themselves.

But Beijing News offered a different version of the story. The newspaper quoted an eye-witness saying one of the instructors “joked” with a female student, causing anger from other students.

According to the newspaper, the instructor physically punished the angry students and called on other instructors to beat the teacher, who was trying to stop the punishment.

Pictures on Sina Weibo show students’ hands in blood-stained bandages and a female student crying in what appears to be a clinic. Doctors are seen dressing wounded students.

The story generated headlines on the Internet. A post about the case on microblog Sina Weibo has been forwarded more than 14,000 times as of 10 p.m. Tuesday, drawing a flurry of scathing comments. Many lashed out at the military trainers for being too brutal. Others, however, said not all military trainers are like that, and people should not jump to conclusions.

China has seen a host of incidents during military training sessions in high schools and middle schools. Earlier this month, a female student in the northeastern Liaoning Province jumped to her death because she was punished for not standing properly during military training.

In 2008, a military trainer in the southern metropolis of Guangzhou was reported to have grabbed a junior school student’s head and hit her against a wall 50 times simply because she was talking during meals.











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