Teacher has sixth grader slapped 231 times in central Vietnam

By Hoang Tao, Nguyen Quy   November 25, 2018 | 10:59 pm PT
Teacher has sixth grader slapped 231 times in central Vietnam
Nguyen Thi Phuong Thuy, a teacher in central Vietnam who punished her student with a series of slaps for using foul language. Photo by VnExpress/Hoang Tao
In a throwback to medieval cruelty, a teacher asked 23 classmates of a sixth grader to slap him ten times each.

At the end of 230 slaps, when the boy said he hated her, the teacher slapped him again.

The traumatized boy had to be hospitalized for four days and treated for a badly swollen face.

The incident, which has evoked widespread outrage and prompted the education ministry’s intervention, took place at the Duy Ninh Secondary School in the central province of Quang Binh on November 19.

Nguyen Thi Phuong Thuy, the teacher, had her student Hoang Long Nhat suffer the punishment because he used "foul language."

School principal Pham Thi Le Anh said the teacher has been suspended for 15 days pending further enquiries.

She has since been placed under official investigation for "humiliating or applying corporal punishment to subordinates," a crime punishable by up to seven years under Vietnam’s penal code.

Deputy Minister of Education and Training Nguyen Thi Nghia had said Saturday that whatever rule the student had broken, the punishment "was completely wrong and unacceptable."

The ministry had ordered education officials to investigate the case and take disciplinary action against the teacher.

Media reports said Thuy has admitted to school leaders that her actions were wrong. She attributed them to the pressure of educational achievements demanded by the school.

Teachers are traditionally held in very high regard in Vietnam, but teaching is no longer seen as a rewarding vocation. Teachers get paid very little, and are usually overworked.

A report presented to the National Assembly in September last year showed that teachers with many years of experience received just VND3-3.5 million ($132-154) a month, including bonuses, roughly the nation’s mandated minimum wage.

The same study found that 40 percent of the teachers interviewed said they would choose another job if they had the chance.

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