Parents reach agreement with school after bullied girl commits suicide | Society News | SupChina

Parents reach agreement with school after bullied girl commits suicide

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The family of a 14-year-old Yunnan girl, who took her own life after long-term bullying by classmates, decided not to hold the bullies accountable after the school provided financial assistance of 80,000 yuan for memorial services.

When reached (in Chinese) by the Paper.cn on October 17, the local government of Xuanwei, Hunan Province, said that the case had concluded after the family reached an agreement with the two girls who picked on their daughter. As part of the agreement, the school gave the victim’s family 80,000 yuan as compensation.

On October 12, news broke out that Liú 刘, a middle school student, committed suicide by consuming pesticide at home. She was rushed to a nearby hospital but did not recover.

It was later revealed that prior to her death, Liu had been attacked by two classmates, who had frequently bullied her, once even slapping her face. Meanwhile, the school was accused of lacking policies to combat on-campus bullying. Some graduates told local media that when they attended the school, “disputes and fights happened almost every week.”

On the Chinese internet, many people believe (in Chinese) that Liu’s family was persuaded by the local government to stop pursuing criminal charges against the bullies and the school. It’s widely acknowledged that when a bullying incident occurs, families of the victims are usually advised to accept compensation as a peaceful way to solve the issue.

In China, school bullying is more prevalent than most realize. According to a 2017 survey by the 21st Century Education Research Institute, a Beijing-based think tank, among 1,003 respondents from 12 schools in the city, about half of the students have been “intentionally bumped or knocked down by classmates.” In addition, nearly 6 percent said they were targeted by bullies on campus every day.

In 2017, China’s education ministry released (in Chinese) a new plan to prevent bullying and violence in schools. According to the new guidelines, schools need to investigate cases of bullying within 10 days after complaints being submitted and educate students about how to protect themselves from malicious behavior.

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Jiayun Feng

Jiayun was born in Shanghai, where she spent her first 20 years and earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism at Fudan University. Interested in writing for a global audience, she attended the NYU Graduate School of Journalism for its Global & Joint Program Studies, which allowed her to pursue a journalism career along with her interest in international relations. She has previously interned for Sixth Tone and Shanghai Daily.

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