Chinese Police Hold Teen After Fatal Stabbing in Hunan High School

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Yuanjiang No. 3 High School in Hunan Province's Yuanjiang city, in undated photo.
Yuanjiang No. 3 High School in Hunan Province's Yuanjiang city, in undated photo.
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A 16-year-old high school student in the central Chinese province of Hunan is being investigated by police after he stabbed a teacher to death.

The student, identified only by his surname Luo, stands accused of causing the death of his teacher Bao Fang in a bloody attack at the Yuanjiang No. 3 High School in Hunan's Yuanjiang city.

"At 4.00 p.m. on Nov. 12 during a class at the No. 3 High School, a dispute occurred between a 16-year-old student surnamed Luo and a teacher surnamed Bao, male, 47 years old," the Yuanjiang municipal police department said in a statement.

"Luo pulled out a spring-loaded knife and stabbed Bao, who was immediately rushed to hospital, but died after attempts to save him failed," the statement said.

"Luo is currently a criminal suspect in the custody of police, and the case is being investigated further," it said.

Repeated calls to the Yuanjiang No. 3 High School were connected and immediately cut off during office hours on Wednesday.

A call to the school's principal, surnamed Yang, was immediately cut off following an enquiry by RFA.

A resident of the same neighborhood told RFA that the school appears to be operating normally, however.

"There's nothing out of the ordinary," the resident said, adding: "This school is considered a very good one in this town."

Gifted and talented

Chinese media reports indicated that Luo was considered a star student in the school's gifted and talented class.

The dispute blew up after Bao had directed a number of criticisms at Luo, after he appeared to have slackened off his efforts in recent weeks, the reports said.

Bao had been setting homework that Luo said he didn't want to do.

"If you don't want to write it, then switch classes," Bao had said on his way out of the classroom. Luo then attacked him, stabbing him 26 times, the reports said.

A former employee of the school told RFA that Bao Fang's funeral took place on Wednesday.

"The teacher involved was laid to rest today," the former employee said. "About 10 years ago there was a fight there during which someone's finger got cut off, and blood was drawn, but no-one paid it much attention."

The employee said Chinese high school students are under huge competitive pressure, and seldom take time off to recuperate and rest.

"Some schools only allow their kids a half day on Sunday, which is basically just two classes and a mealtime, which is less than three hours altogether," the employee said.

In 2010, China's central government ordered a nationwide security clampdown around schools after a string of deadly attacks on young children and staff in kindergartens.

Experts have blamed growing social tensions, a widening gap between rich and poor, and associated mental health problems for the spate of attacks.

And Chinese families who send their children overseas to study often cite huge psychological pressure in the country's highly competitive education system, where a single test score can determine a young person's future.

Reported by Yang Fan for RFA's Mandarin Service. Translated and edited by Luisetta Mudie.

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