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April 27, 2012

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Pupil, 9, hit in the eye as teacher gets angry

POLICE in Shanghai are investigating a Chinese teacher who threw a mechanical pencil at a nine-year-old pupil, leaving the pencil's lead sticking into one of his eyes.

After emergency surgery at 2am yesterday at Xinhua Hospital, the pupil, surnamed Dan, said he could sense some light with his injured left eye, but still could not see things clearly.

Doctors said the pencil lead damaged the boy's cornea but hadn't affected the lens of the eye.

He will be kept under observation at the hospital for three to five days, they said.

The incident occurred at the Shuifeng Road Elementary School in Yangpu District during lunchtime on Wednesday when the teacher, surnamed Ma, threw the mechanical pencil at Dan from about a meter away.

Dan said he was being punished because he had been using the mechanical pencil to do his homework.

"Miss Ma has made a class rule requiring us not to use a mechanical pencil when doing homework," said Dan. "I used one when writing and the teacher confiscated the pencil."

Dan said another teacher later returned the pencil to him, but he used it again during lunchtime on Wednesday, and was spotted by Ma.

"She became very angry seeing me writing with the mechanical pencil again. She then threw it at my face.

"It hurt so much that my mind went blank," said Dan.

He said the teacher was probably angry because she might have thought he had stolen it back from the office.

Dan said that Ma used to be a good and kind teacher who "would not give the students a lot of homework."

But he said he couldn't understand why she had become so angry and thrown the pencil at him.

The teacher is now under investigation by both the police and Yangpu District Education Bureau officials.

The education authority said the teacher might simply have lost her temper.

Her behavior was a one-time aberration as she had previously enjoyed a good reputation and was regarded by pupils as a kind teacher, a bureau official said.

A spokesman for Yangpu District police said that the details of any punishment would be announced after their investigation into the teacher's conduct had been completed.


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