Teens sentenced to months’ imprisonment for aggressive school bullying. Bulling is nothing new in schoola but from the look of things, it seems that’s about to change.
A Beijing court has sentenced three teenagers to months in prison for their parts in a brutal gang attack that sparked widespread outrage last year.
The video, which surfaced on China’s Twitter-like Sina Weibo in April 2015, showed over 30 youngsters, including the convicted three, take turns to slap and kick a girl, despite her begging for mercy. The location of the attack was later identified as near a middle school in Beijing.
The bullies’ rage, however, all started from an ordinary teenage spat. The victimized ninth grader, Xiaoli, was trying to take a photo of a male friend, but accidentally photographed an older teenage girl. “She deleted the picture right away and apologized but it didn’t work,” the boy said.
Soon after the video was posted, two girls and a boy surnamed Liu, Wu and Jia turned themselves into police. Liu, Wu and Jia were sentenced to eight months, six months and seven months in prison respectively. The three and a number of other bullies involved in the attack also apologized to the victim and paid her an unspecified sum in compensation.
School bullying has become an increasingly severe social problem in recent years. A 2016 survey published by China Youth and Children Research Center painted a bleaker picture on the issue: of the 5,000 students surveyed, about 32.5 percent experienced “mild bullying” and 6 percent experienced “severe bullying.”
In extreme cases, the bullying even led to suicide attempts. Last year, a 16-year-old boy jumped from the fourth floor of a teaching building in a junior high school in southeast China’s Qingdao city as he “just could not tolerate a life of being bullied everyday any longer.”
While harsh punishment might help curb the campus violence, many others believe the solution lies in education.
Haidian District Court told Beijing Times that it had written to local education authorities, calling on parents and educators to work together to address school bullying.
Beijing-based psychological counselor Liu Chaoying previously told CNN that she believed bullying reflects deeper social problems. “Parents need to spend enough time with their children and take their responsibility as guardian seriously,” she said.