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Praise, scorn for teacher's odd command




A middle school math teacher has stirred controversy after forcing 20 of his students to slap their own faces for three minutes because they made noise in class and scored poorly on exams.
Angry local residents are demanding that the teacher resign and asking the school to announce a punishment. But some of the teacher's students, including some who were forced to slap themselves, are calling for leniency.
The incident occurred in a class at Donglu Middle School in Pudong on Tuesday when the math teacher surnamed Yang ordered 20 students in his class to slap their faces after he was irritated by them making noise in class.
The students said Yang was known as a very strict teacher, so almost all the students obeyed his order and started slapping themselves in the face for about three minutes. Those who slapped too lightly were told by the teacher to slap harder, students told the Oriental Morning Post.
Yang's behavior has sparked anger among local residents, especially some parents who said on the microblog Weibo.com that "Yang should resign for his shameful behavior that violated the basic principles to be a teacher."
But surprisingly, some students are defending their teacher by shifting all the responsibilities onto themselves and writing a letter to the school principal to plead leniency for him.
"Mr Yang is a good teacher who has taught us well. It was our fault to make so much noise to get the punishment," said one student when interviewed by STV reporters.
"I don't think that Mr Yang has done anything wrong," said a 13-year-old student surnamed Hu on Baidu's microblog. "We students will be the victims to suffer losses if he no longer teaches us."
Other students are writing an open letter to the school principal, expressing fear that they might not do well on final examinations if Yang is banned from teaching.
Previously, an official surnamed Pan with the school told Xinmin Evening News website that Yang had apologized to all the students' par! ents on Wednesday, and the parents accepted his apologies and were satisfied by his behavior to repent.

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