The November 2020 death of a young child in China has caused an online stir after the boy’s mother posted on the Weibo platform on Monday how he had raised his hand repeatedly to alert his teacher that he was unwell, but was allegedly met with indifference.
The eight-year-old pupil later fell down the stairs in school and died.
His mother wrote that surveillance footage from the class showed that the boy, whose family name is Guo, raised his hand seven times in 10 minutes, but according to his classmates, was impatiently told by his teacher to bear with it till the class ended.
The Primary 3 pupil rested his head on his desk as the teacher continued class.
The mother posted the footage of the school’s surveillance videos, which show her son grimacing as he later leaves the class. The teacher supports the boy as the class files down the stairs after school is dismissed.
The mother claimed the teacher dragged the boy down the stairs forcefully, and yanked the boy away from the railing as he reached out to steady himself. He then fell and hit the back of his head, according to a classmate who witnessed the fall, she said.
She questioned why the teacher did not alert the boy’s parents that he was unwell or even take his temperature, especially when it was during the Covid-19 pandemic, and his father was already waiting to pick him up from school.
She wrote that her husband had been waiting outside the school to pick the child up. He had rushed to the school gates when he heard pupils shouting about the child’s fall but was stopped at the gates by security guards. A maths teacher later took him to the staircase.
Mobile news platform Red Star News reported that the father reached the scene five minutes after the boy had fallen, and called for an ambulance.
A second court case over the incident began on Thursday, staff from the education bureau in the Gulou district of Fuzhou city told Red Star News on Wednesday. They claimed that the pupil had underlying health conditions and his death was not caused by the fall.
Details of the trials are not known, but the mother wrote that she could not accept the verdict of the first case.
In another post on Saturday, she said her son had always been healthy, and the school did not give feedback about any health issues detected during its health screenings.
The mother said the boy fell into a coma and was hospitalised for 280 days, after which he was nursed at home for 190 days before he died.
The pupil’s parents said the school and its teachers must take responsibility because they failed to get him medical attention in a timely manner.
Gulou education bureau staff also told Red Star News that after the incident, the police retrieved surveillance footage to investigate so the school could not delete or manipulate the footage.
However, they said they could not disclose if the teacher faced any consequences.
This incident has sparked heated discussion online.
Many netizens commented that the teacher is largely responsible because she was not vigilant enough and did not pay attention to the pupil, even after he raised his hands several times.
There were also netizens who said that children should not be too obedient. Parents should tell their children that if they report feeling unwell to the teacher, but the issue is not resolved, they should leave the class immediately and seek help from the infirmary.