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Controversy as teacher stamps children with good or bad tag


09:27, September 29, 2012

SHENZHEN, Sept. 28 (Xinhua) -- A school teacher in south China's Shenzhen City has attracted criticism after she marked students' faces or arms with red or blue stamps depending on their behavior.

Three third-grade students in Shangfen Primary School in Longhua New District of the city were reported to have been stamped on Tuesday.

"Everybody here knows the 'blue stamp' means bad, and I felt ashamed when classmates laughed at me," one of the students, who still had a blue trace on his cheek, said Thursday.

The student begged the teacher to stamp him on his hand instead of his face. The teacher also would not allow him to erase the stamp during school, he said.

The teacher, surnamed Guo, said the stamps were part of a campaign, from the start of the year, to praise excellent students and criticize poorly-behaved ones. Those behaving well got a red stamp in a special booklet, while the disobedient pupils got a blue stamp.

Blue stamps were not erasable in the booklet, so Guo decided to stamp the students hoping they would soon get rid of the marks by behaving.

Deputy headmaster Li Yu told Xinhua the campaign was aimed at encouraging students to behave, and in fact, the blue stamp were rarely used.

"Guo lost her temper when the student failed to finish his homework three times in a row, and stamped him on the face," said Li. "She is still a young teacher."

As a result, the school organized a meeting to regulate teachers' disciplinary methods, and apologized to the stamped students and their parents. Guo also made an apology following complaints from parents.

Photographs showing the stamps on students were released online, attracting wide criticism.

"It made no difference with prisoners in ancient times, who were carved with characters of 'criminals' on their faces," posted a Internet user called "Gogo-Xuanzi" at Sina, China's largest twitter-like microblogging website.

School authorities have not disciplined Guo but only asked her to take some leave, said Li.

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