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Do teachers have the right to discipline students? [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2019-10-27 15:05:47 |Display all floors
This post was edited by ceciliazhang at 2019-10-27 15:06

Editor's note: The Law on the Protection of Minors is set to be amended for the second time since being enacted in 1991. The draft revision to the law submitted to China's top legislature for the first review on Monday, while based on family, school, social and judicial protection for children, has added internet and government protection for minors. Three experts share their views on the issue with China Daily's Yao Yuxin. Excerpts follow:

Teachers must have right to discipline students

The draft revision includes many new potential threats to children that have emerged in recent years with the aim to make juvenile protection comprehensive. The draft focuses on school bullying, a serious problem widely discussed in China in recent years. Given that minors enjoy legal exemption from being prosecuted in a regular court of law even if they commit a serious crime, many wonder whether the lack of punishment for underage perpetrators is the reason behind the rising spate of violence in schools and other places.

The draft lists some specific measures to deal with such incidents. For instance, it requires schools to establish a mechanism to prevent school bullying, and report the situation to parents and guardians, and to cooperate with government officials to handle such incidents.

It also requires schools to take disciplinary action against offenders in accordance with the level of violence, as well as to provide psychological counseling for the victims.

Yet many clauses of the existing law have been poorly enforced in the past, because schools are reportedly reluctant to make public such negative issues in a bid to avoid tarnishing their reputation, and teachers tend to adopt a lenient attitude toward students who bully their schoolmates or indulge in violence on the campus because their right to discipline students has no legal sanctity.

Therefore, external supervision, such as through parents' committee, should be introduced to ensure the revised law is enforced in schools, and teachers must be empowered to discipline students who bully their peers.

Xiong Bingqi, deputy director of the 21st Century Education Research Institute

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