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41 hurt as fight breaks out during student military training

Shanghai Daily, August 26, 2014 Adjust font size:

Forty students and a teacher were injured when a fight broke out with military training instructors at a school in central China's Hunan Province.


A picture circulating online claims to be of a student after he was beaten by a drillmaster at a middle school in Longshan County, in central China’s Hunan Province. Thirty-nine others and a teacher were injured when a fight broke out at the school on Sunday.

One drillmaster was also wounded, the Longshan County government said in a statement issued yesterday.

The incident happened at 6pm on Sunday at Huangcang Middle School during military training, the statement said.

The injured were taken to Longshan People's Hospital and, as of 9am yesterday, 27 people were still being treated there.

The government said police were investigating.

Some online sources had reported that more than 100 students had been injured during the fight.

A member of the school staff, who asked not to be identified, told news website that more than 40 people were wounded and a teacher had suffered serious injuries.

"The students are freshmen and the teacher is their head teacher. The drillmasters were organized by the paramilitary department of Longshan County," he said, adding that he did not know what had caused the fight.

However, the website said other sources told it that freshmen from one class had been taking part in fight training with their drillmaster in the morning and had given him a beating through sheer force of numbers.

In the afternoon he became "extremely strict" with students, making them do push-ups and trampling on anyone who stopped due to exhaustion. Sources said that even the head teacher was beaten when he tried to intervene on behalf of the students.

The students then defended the teacher, resulting in chaotic scenes as other military instructors also got involved.

One student gave another account to the Beijing Times. He told the newspaper that the drillmaster had teased a girl and was criticized by the boys, which resulted in the drillmaster giving them physical punishments.

When the head teacher tried to stop him, he was attacked by several other instructors, the newspaper said. After that, students refused to continue training and went back to their classrooms.

Twenty-eight drillmasters were at the school for a week of training exercises but they had now been withdrawn, the department said.

Last year in Longshan, there were reports of some drillmasters being involved in a fight with students and teachers at Longshan Senior High School.

Military training for freshmen in senior schools and colleges is a requirement in China.

In high school, the training usually lasts about seven days while in college it ranges from 15 days to a month.

The training is aimed at building character and physical strength but there have been tragic incidents.

A 19-year-old male student at Shanghai Ocean University died in 2011 during training, sparking a public debate about the intensity and cruelty of military drills.

A 13-year-old girl at Dapeng Overseas Chinese Middle School in Shenzhen died during military training in 2012.

Her parents criticized teachers for negligence and highlighted the lack of professional medical staff and facilities.

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