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October 28, 2009

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Student attacker apologizes

THE female student who was shown beating another girl in an Internet video has apologized for the violence, her school said yesterday.

The Shanghai Nanhu Vocational School said it would punish the girl but would not expel her. The announcement came after a meeting with the 17-year-old, her family and officials from the Shanghai Education Commission yesterday morning.

"Of course the school should take disciplinary action, but we can't deprive the student of her right to education," said Yang Yongming, director of the education commission's youth protection division.

The punishment has not been decided.

Also yesterday, police started to look into the case after the Internet posting caused hundreds of Netizens to protest at the Nanhu school on Handan Road on Monday.

The Nanhu school and the educational experts appealed to the public to remain calm to protect the two students involved.

The Shanghai Business and Tourism School's Pudong Branch, which the victim attends, said charges would not be pursued against the attacker.

Peaceful ending eyed

"After all, the assailant is a minor. We don't want to ruin the rest of her life," Li Xiaohua, principal of the business and tourism school, told Shanghai Daily yesterday. "Both the victim and the school want to end this peacefully to protect our students."

"We would like to see a face-to-face apology."

But Li also said the students involved in the violence need to be punished.

Li said the school had observed some of its students in the video and would investigate further.

The video showed the Nanhu student beating, slapping and kicking the other student on August 25. The victim reportedly suffered a broken nose and bruises but has fully recovered, the principal said.

About 10 students could be seen watching the beating, some of whom were taking pictures and videos with their cell phones. Only one of them tried to stop the violence, but he was pulled away by the others.

One of the witnesses lost his cell phone later in a cab, and it was found by someone who uploaded the video on, one of China's most popular video sharing Websites.

The clip generated more than 2.6 million hits in just three days.

Netizens then worked together to identify the attacker, and when they did, gathered at the school to protest her violence.

The Nanhu-related attack was not the only recent case of schoolgirls behaving badly.

On Monday, a video showing a group of students beating and humiliating a girl at another Shanghai school was uploaded online.


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