Planet China

School’s out

Expulsion from school is a serious thing, normally brought about by drug dealing or violence. So people in China were perplexed when a school in Yunnan expelled a couple of its students for blowing bubbles and throwing paper planes. Xinhua reported that the news caused an outcry online, with bloggers ridiculing the decision as far too harsh. This led the education bureau to order the Luliang No1 Middle School to re-enroll the two pupils last week. The pair were certainly guilty of high jinks, apparently intent on disrupting a Saturday evening class for students cramming for their national college entrance exams. But in the pressurised pre-exam atmosphere their provocations seem to have led to a mini-riot among the student body. The Shanghai Daily has reported that it took 20 teachers to pacify enraged pupils. The school then announced that the two troublemakers had been expelled for ignoring regulations and disrupting teaching. It may well have been the shortest expulsion in educational history: they were both back in the classroom in less than a week.

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