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December 25, 2009

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Principal, teacher fired over frozen-boy scandal

TEACHERS at a middle school in east China's Shandong Province have been dismissed for poor management after a student, 14, was found dead in a gutter.

Wujing Middle School's principal and a vice principal in charge of security were fired, yesterday's Guangzhou Daily reported, citing a government official of Weifang City's Linqu County.

Both the school and the local police described the death as an accident, but the county government has launched a new investigation, according to an official surnamed Ma.

Student Zhang Jixin was found dead near the school dormitory on December 18. He was allegedly ordered to stand outside the night before as a punishment by a teacher who caught him going out to a shop, breaking school rules.

The teacher allegedly forgot him and went out drinking, leaving Zhang outside in minus 10 degrees Celsius temperatures. The boy froze to death, one of his classmates told Zhang's father.

The teacher in question, Hu Daofa, said he had not ordered the punishment, nor gone out drinking.

Police ruled out any assault on the boy before his death.

A boy like Zhang should have rescued himself if he had started to freeze, said Zhan Mingcai, an officer with Linqu police.

The police proposed an autopsy on the boy but this court of action was rejected by Zhang's parents.

Zhang was holding two packs of instant noodles with a few pieces of candy in his pocket when found, according to Meng Hai, captain of Linqu police's criminal squad.


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