Forty students sustained injuries following a brawl involving military training instructors at a high school in an incident that has sparked heated debate among netizens.
The incident is the latest involving military instructors at high schools, and the local government requested that they be withdrawn for Grade One students in Huangcang Middle School, Longshan county, Hunan province.
Two local armed forces officials were sacked following the incident and a teacher was temporarily removed from his post, the local publicity department said in a statement on Tuesday night.
The brawl, which took place around 4:30 pm on Sunday, injured 42 people, 40 of them students. Fighting broke out after an altercation between a female student and an instructor, according to the statement.
Following the argument, the atmosphere deteriorated and became increasingly tense, resulting in a brawl during which the head teacher was attacked.
Students later vented their anger by smashing classroom doors and windows, sustaining injuries, the statement said.
Beijing News offered a different version. The newspaper quoted a witness as saying that one of the instructors "joked" with a female student, and this angered other students.
According to the newspaper, the instructor attacked the students and called on other instructors to beat the teacher, who was trying to prevent the attacks.
Pictures on Sina Weibo show students' hands in bloodstained bandages and a female student crying in what appears to be a clinic. Doctors are seen applying dressings to the injured students.
The story was a hot topic on the Internet. A post on Sina Weibo had been forwarded more than 14,000 times as of Tuesday night, drawing a flurry of scathing comments. Many lashed out at the military trainers for being too physical and harsh. Others, however, said not all military trainers are like that, and people should not jump to conclusions.
China has seen a host of incidents during military training sessions in high schools and middle schools. Earlier this month, a female student in Liaoning province jumped to her death because she was punished for not standing properly during military training.
In 2008, a military trainer in the southern metropolis of Guangzhou was reported to have grabbed a junior school student's head and repeatedly hit it against a wall for talking during meals.
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