Student who is punished to stand outside freezes to death

| December 28th, 2009

News from Netease and everywhere: A first grade student of a middle school from Shandong Province named Zhang Jixin (张继鑫) climbed out of the dormitory walls to buy food for another student on the evening of December 17th 2009. He was spotted by the teacher on duty when climbing the wall. The teacher hit him several times and ordered him to stand still outside as a punishment. Later the teacher went out drinking and forgot about the student. At 7 am in the morning on December 18th, Zhang Jixing was found dead (freezes to death) inside of a drain on campus. Later the teacher commented “Zhang Jixing died very comfortably” in an interview which stirred even more public out-cry all over the nation.

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Both principal and vise-principal of Wujin middle school in Weifang city, Linqu County were fired on December 24. However the deceased student Zhang Jixin’s stepfather Zhang Benyong told the reporter that this incident has already been “privately settled” and they will not hold any department or individual responsible.

At 5 pm on December 24, reporter once again went to Zhang Benyong’s home, he was sadly resting his head on the table by a bed, behind him is his wife Fan Weihong was lying in bed. Some neighbors were in the room, one after the other tried to comfort the sobbing couple.

“Thank you… the incident has passed.” Zhang Benyong said, through coordination of relevant departments, the school and they have reached to a “settlement” agreement. But he declined to talk about the specific amount of the “settlement” in details. He only said, “They paid off the money all in one time.” The mother lay in bed and said “Please don’t mention how much money, whenever we talk about how much money we feel like as if we sold our child for money.” When reporter was leaving, Zhang Benyong said with another deep sigh “Whether if the money is enough of not, this thing is over, we will not hold anyone responsible.”

Reporter tried to contact Linqu local education and public security department and try to learn more details about the “private settlement” but with no success.

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Blog post: Child freezes to death is a shame of the education and also a failure of the parents

by Shi Sansheng (石三生)

A student named Zhang Jixin (张继鑫) from Weifan, Shandong, was frozen to death; a 14-year-old boy was frozen to death. This alerted the high officials and disturbed the people into a panic. People have varies opinions on the incident.

According to my somewhat authoritarian judgment, in the current China, even a “Zhou Tiger” (South China Tiger incident) took up numerous amount of time and energy of the people and many internet media companies nationwide. Finally the poor “Zhou Tiger” was sent to the cage for everyone in the world to watch. Such detective effort, to investigate the cause of Zhang Jixin’s death perhaps is harder than sending Yang Liwei (杨利伟) into space.

Therefore, whether the education is a disgrace or just indifference of humanity, I only want to wait and see, see what kind of explanation the big officials give us.

A 14-year-old boy died, I believe that his parents must have been in unbearable pain. Life to death is the most painful thing on earth, not to mention people with white hair are seeing off people with black hair; people with black hair are saying good bye to their under-aged son.

Zhang Jixin is gone, However when we are blindly blaming the school, blaming our education, did we ever think about blaming ourselves?

Why is a 14-year-old child like a piece of wood, without his ability to think? Why is Zhang Jixin like a little lamb waiting to be butchered? Everyone runs for their lives when disaster is imminent, this is the law even a small bird understands, why didn’t Zhang Jixin understand? He was not caged. If so, this case can be solved by idiots. There is no monkey king in the world that can draw a prison (to imprison him). What makes a 14-year-old to lose his survival instinct?

My father and I were never in good terms, even when after he passed away, I never forgive him. I am a very smart child, but not stupid. It took my mother 10 months to conceive me so it proved that I am different from other people around me. I was naughty and lively by nature when I was young. But I was always thin because of my poor nutritional childhood. From primary school to junior high school, I became the subject of entertainment and the bullies. That was nothing, but I hated my father, whether if I was right or wrong, after fighting outside, I for sure would take a beating from my father at home.

My father’s logic was “Someone else takes a shit on your head, you clean it up yourself, being at a disadvantage is a blessing.” People say “the fox may grow grey, but never good”, this is all bull shit. How can a child’s personality not related to the parents?

Our children from an early age are living in lies and fairytales. What? Teacher and student are like father and son, listen to the teacher and follow the party. What if the teacher is a beast? We should respect him for a lifetime? Worse yet, many parents openly tell the teacher to physically punish their kids on their behalf. Our children are being violated in these seemingly moral actions, to the point they learn knowledge but forget about the basic human-nature of surviving as a highly intelligent animal. How sad is that?

The dead is gone, life is doomed to a one-way street. As someone else’s parents, we are unable to change China’s education, but then you should start with yourself, educate children some basic common sense. If you are wrong, please have the courage to admit your mistake to the children.

Respect the teacher, but do not show filial obedience to the teacher like you would to your parents. Teachers also have their own children.

Do not agree to use violence, but when violence is inevitable, tell the child to run, if can’t get away, just fight it!

If the bastard teacher is punishing a child, when the teacher is there, go ahead and be obedient, but when the teach is not there, just run away. This way is not only good for the child, but also is good for the teacher. At least, the teacher will be given a murderer hat, and the parents will not need to suffer the painful death of their children.

Here, we commemorate the “comfortable” death of student Zhang Jixin.

If there is an afterlife, must remember to run, run far away, far, far away…

13 Comments | Leave a comment | Comment feed

  1. Doug says:

    Without consequences, what motivations do the wicked have to behave morally? Life is truly cheap in China.

  2. John says:

    This is pitiful, and proves that China has a loooong way to go before it can truly call itself a “First World Country”

    PATHETIC behavior on the part of the teacher.

  3. meerkat- says:

    This is one of those stories where the absurd is at such high levels, you know it’s real.

  4. Bill Rich says:

    Being frozen to death is a comfort Chinese can look forward to. Great for them. We must congratulate the Chinese people for their progress since their opening, reforming and developing in the last 60 years. Great job. Well done. Now that Chinese don’t have a conscience to bother them, I expect to see even greater things to happen. The total collapse of moral enable the Chinese to do all things unthinkable, and unprecedented. In additional to the fastest train built with foreign design, jet fighters with engines from Russia, there will be even better things to come.

    • Kay says:

      Hi,Bill, the kid being frozen to death is really a tragic event not just for you, but more for us – Chinese people. We are sad as you while angrier than you – because it happened in our country, to our people. While objectively, it doesn’t have that much relation to the development or progress achieved by China in the last 60 years. When we are developing, we can not deny there are many many problems accompanied. While when something wrong happened, if we can make it to public and tell more people it’s wrong and should not happen again, it is a progress itself. I have no idea how outside or our government says about China’s economic growth, army strength, or other things like ambition to be the powerful country in the world, it’s not true as a common people lived in China, what we want is to live a happy life with health body, warm house and lovely friends, and help other people needed. That’s all. While every simple thing will be no longer simple when it involves politics and personal interest.

      For the fastest train with foreign technology, I’m also surprised. and I will check more info before I give my comment.

  5. Mike G. says:

    So, this kid just stands outside until he dies?! Was this some Quonset hut in the Antarctic or was it in a city in China? My question is, why would an otherwise healthy kid with all of his facilities (?), not seek refuge in a nearby house or business? It seems very strange to me.

    • Kay says:

      Maybe it’s related to the relationship between teacher and student. Sometimes, in the mind of students and their parents, teacher is very much important and has unique authority, so it’s possible for this pitiful kid to stand outside until lost his consciousness to death. Of course another probably important factor is this teacher is so ferocious that the kid is afraid of the consequence of run away.

    • XiaoWang says:

      It actually makes sense. The teachers hit the kid several times so obviously he is normally a guy the students fear. Anyway the kid went into some sort of drain outside to shelter from the cold wind and snow but didn’t dare to go back inside. Unfortunately inside was probably just as cold as outside but it felt more comfortable so the kid likely thought he was much better off inthere.

      Btw this story lends credibility to the often heard claim here in China that stepparents don’t give a rats ass about their stepchildren. This guy seemed perfectly ok with the 200.000 kuai (the max compensation for deaths here though he probably settled for less) he got from the killing of his wife’s son. Disturbing.

  6. This is a tragic story and since I heard about it last night it has been hanging over me but why do people think this story is justification to criticize a whole people, the Chinese people. What is this generalizing nonsense that is going on here, as Kay above says, it is tragic for Chinese and others alike. This one story is no justification to generalize about the moral nature of a whole people- if that is ever possible.

    • I agree that some of the responses above seem tone-deaf. I imagine this sort of lashing-out is just as instinctive and thoughtless as when a fenqing becomes defensive over mild criticisms. Neither response is constructive.

      We can see many things in this story to be dissatisfied with: a step-father willing to be paid off for the death of a child; a teacher who breaks the traditional Confucian bonds of respect between teacher and student through his cruelty and carelessness; a student who has not the strength of will or bravery to come back inside when a punishment reaches absurdity; a government that goes into overdrive only to contain a crisis, not to reform the system that leads to the crisis.

      The tragedy may or may not have to do with unique systemic faults in the Chinese system, but laying out blame in such a simplistic and seemingly spiteful manner (John, particularly) helps no one. It erodes the impact of more thoughtful, constructive criticisms, as Chinese inure themselves to receiving nothing but unqualified criticism from beyond their borders, and it tells us more about the speaker/writer’s fears than it does about the tragedy at hand. Both sides are likely to close their ears.

      I guess it goes both ways: please do forgive us foreigners our fenqing, if we can forgive Chinese their fenqing. I hope that more thoughtful voices on either side can prevail.

      Speaking more directly about this case: a boy lays down his life, seemingly for no good reason. But now his tragedy then causes thousands, perhaps millions, of Chinese to consider the meaning of “authority” and “teacher”, whether or not those with titles and authority should be given the respect and obedience one gives a parent, if such respect has not been earned through actions. The article, a translation from Chinese, says as much.

      Societal change and reform is as much a part of ‘developed’ country status as economic growth is; but despite whatever obstacles the government may throw in the way of such reform, it would be short-sighted to assume that the Chinese people are incapable of evolving their society… with or without the aid of a recalcitrant government.

  7. hardyandtiny says:

    the state is not going to charge the teacher with a crime?

  8. Chiize says:

    omg ! charge the teacher!

  9. Gee says:

    Tragic. The teacher should be charged with manslaughter.

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