Teacher Accused of Scalping Boy As Punishment for Talking in Class

A teacher at a primary school in central China has been arrested for allegedly pulling the hair of a student as punishment for talking during a class. The nine-year-old boy reportedly suffered severe internal bleeding and swelling following the incident.

Doctors said the boy's scalp was separated from his skull and the bleeding had filled part of his brain. Over a liter (just over a quarter of a gallon) of blood had to be drawn out using syringes in seven surgical procedures, China's thecover.cn news platform reported.

The teacher, who was only identified by his surname, Chang, was placed in detention last Saturday by police in Pingdingshan in the Henan province.

The incident took place at Xinhua Road Elementary School on March 5 while the grade-three pupil (identified only by his surname, Yuan) and two classmates were reportedly talking during a class. Chang allegedly punished them by dragging the children by their hair to the front of the class.

The boy was reported to have felt dizzy and nauseous on the night of the incident. He told his mother what had happened to him at school that day.

His mother is reported to have said: "My son's hair is short. When the teacher pulled his hair for the first time, my boy stepped back. The teacher, perhaps thinking he was resisting, then pulled his hair again."

Yuan's scalp became swollen and sore the next day and by March 7, the swelling covered half of the child's head. The boy was taken to a hospital the following day, where it was revealed that internal bleeding was causing the swelling.

Yuan underwent three weeks of treatment before he was discharged from the hospital. He reportedly still feels pain in his scalp, especially during haircuts.

The mother called the boy's form teacher who admitted to using physical violence. The child's medical bills were covered by the teacher, she said.

"He [the teacher] said he felt regret and guilt. He hoped we would forgive him. But I can't forgive him," the mother said.

The mother accused the school of initially not taking the incident seriously and said she would sue the school and the teacher, she told Red Star News.

The boy's mom said: "The school said it was the teacher's individual behavior and it had no responsibility here. The school suspended him from teaching only about 20 days later."

Yuan faces ongoing fears about going to school and has not attended classes since March. His mother said the incident has left a shadow in the child's mind.

"He is afraid of the teacher and fears going to school...I am thinking of transferring him to another school.

"This semester has been wasted for my son. I might send him to study at grade three again [from next semester]," she added.

A vice-headmaster of the school, who is only identified by her surname, Zhang, told thecover.cn: "Only the upper-level authorities have the final say of whether the school has responsibility or not."

Corporal punishment is banned at schools in China. Article 16 of the Compulsory Education Law 1986 states: "It shall be forbidden to inflict physical punishment on students," as outlined in a China country report by End Corporal Punishment, an initiative of the Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children.

The initiative explains: "According to article 37 of the Teachers' Law 1994, teachers 'imposing corporal punishment on students and refusing to mend their way after being criticized' are subject to administrative sanctions or dismissal and 'if the circumstances are serious enough to constitute a crime, shall be investigated for criminal responsibility according to law.'"

Primary school Henan province China 2015
Students doing physical exercises in a classroom at a primary school in Zhengzhou in the Henan province of China in December 2015. A teacher at a primary school in central China was arrested last Saturday for allegedly violently pulling the hair of a student as punishment for talking during a class. Getty Images