A female teacher was suspended and punished for beating two students with a textbook who were playing truant, which caused heated discussion online as netizens said her punishment was too harsh. 

On April 29, Yang Shoumei, a head teacher at No. 2 Middle School in Wulian county of East China’s Shandong Province, gave two students corporal punishment for skipping school. 

A student’s parent called the police.

The school then suspended Yang for one month. Meanwhile, Yang was made to apologize to the students and parents, document her written inspection, and cover the medical expenses. 

Yang’s qualification for top performance evaluation was also cancelled. 

The students’ parents were not satisfied, and called for stricter punishment. 

The education bureau in Wulian deducted Yang’s reward performance salary, did not renew her contract and blacklisted her under the county’s credit evaluation system, according to the bureau’s official WeChat account.

An official with the human resources department under the education bureau told the Global Times that the department is not clear about Yang’s contract dates and has no further plan to follow up with the parents. 

As of press time, more than 1,000 netizens commented on the post, saying that Yang’s punishment was too harsh and also asked if the students should also be punished. 

Guo Lixia, a head teacher in No. 9 Middle School of Baotou, North China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, told the Global Times that she believes teachers should be given the authority to issue the appropriate instructive punishment. 

“Given her employment contract was with government-sponsored institutions, Yang has been given double punishment,” Jia Ruiguo, a lawyer with Beijing Fangli Law Firm, told the Global Times. 

Yang’s punishment was not made according to procedures, Jia added. 

A latest guideline for improving the quality of compulsory education was published by the State Council on Monday. 

“The document stresses the development of detailed rules and clarifies the disciplinary power of teachers and resolutely safeguards the legitimate rights and interests of teachers,” Lü Yugang, an official from the Ministry of Education, said at a press conference in Beijing on Tuesday.