Chinese Schoolteacher Detained After Punishing Child of Local Police Chief

October 19, 2018 Updated: October 19, 2018

An elementary school teacher in central China was dragged away by police after she punished a student who turned out to be the daughter of a local police chief.

Multiple Chinese media outlets reported that a teacher at Yuhong Elementary School located in Zhuzhou County, Hunan Province—identified only by her surname He—punished a child for being late to school. The teacher asked her to stand outside the classroom for several minutes.

The following day, on Oct. 16 at 8:00 a.m,  a group of officers from the local police station of Lukou town showed up and took her away.

The teacher was interrogated for several hours and released later that day at around 3:00 p.m.

The teacher wrote about her experience on WeChat, a popular social media platform. The social media posts circulated widely after netizens responded strongly to her account.

She wrote that she did not receive any food or water during the seven hours she was detained. “I was being monitored all through the process,” she wrote. “I work diligently to teach students. Why was I treated in this way?”

After the public outrage, Chinese media reported that the offending police officer, surnamed Zhao, the vice director of the police station, was suspended from duty. The local Chinese Communist Party’s internal anti-corruption watchdog has also begun an investigation, according to the state-run news website The Paper.

Stories of public officials abusing their power are a common occurrence in China, though such practices are the target of the ongoing anti-corruption campaign. Among the scores of officials who have been felled by Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption campaign, the most common vice that the Party’s internal watchdog cite include using their power in exchange for favors or monetary bribes.

Government officials often receive special treatment too. A report by Hong Kong newspaper Apple Daily in May revealed that Party elite have exclusive farms that supply pesticide-free, organically grown food to them.

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