Planet China

Pupil duty

Walk w

The politics of parasols were back in the news last week, after an image went viral on weibo of a Shanghai school pupil holding an umbrella over his teacher to shield her from the sun. The pair were walking around a local park as part of a school trip, and it was clearly a pretty hot day as the teacher was fanning herself and wearing sunglasses. Teachers enjoy a lot of respect in education-obsessed China, but a horde of netizens were soon criticising her online for abusing her power and getting the boy to perform a task more usually associated with Qing Dynasty servants. The education department in Baoshan later confirmed that the woman is a teacher at a local school, but insisted the student volunteered for the task. The teacher in question later made a tearful public apology to reporters, while the school released a statement saying “We held a meeting with all our teachers and asked them to learn from the incident.”

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