The story of an eight-year-old boy who fell into a coma and later died after his numerous pleas for help from a teacher in a classroom went unheeded has outraged mainland social media.
The incident, that took place in 2020 in Fuzhou City, the capital of China’s southeastern Fujian province, re-entered the public eye after his heartbroken mother posted a message on Weibo on February 6 about the tragedy.
In 2020, Ruichen was a third-grade student at a primary school in Fuzhou.
On the morning of November 5, the youngster felt unwell in class and raised his hand several times in an attempt to get the attention of the teacher, who ignored him.
After Ruichen raised his hand for the fifth time, his teacher, Miss Bao, told him “to hold it in until the end of class”, thinking the boy needed the toilet.
In her Weibo post, the boy’s mother wrote: “After the bell rang, Miss Bao delayed the class for 10 more minutes until 10.53am, knowing that my child was unwell and had been lying on his desk”.
The mother said the teacher failed to “give the child help and care”.
She said that the details she recounted were supported by Ruichen’s classmates and the school’s surveillance video.
What happened afterwards led to the tragedy.
The mother said: “Miss Bao did not inform us parents or the hospital but wanted to get the child out of the school as soon as she could. She forced him down the stairs, fully aware that he was too weak to walk, and scolded him for crying”.
When Ruichen tried to balance himself on a railing, he was pulled away again by Miss Bao, his mother said.
“As a result he fell hard around the corner on the second floor, hitting the back of his head and falling unconscious on the spot,” she said.
Then, the mother claimed, Miss Bao did not immediately call an ambulance and the boy’s father was prevented from entering the school.
Ruichen’s family believes that the primary school and Miss Bao are “unshakeably responsible”.
On February 6, this year, the boy’s mother posted a three-minute surveillance video on Weibo to bring the incident to the public’s attention, which quickly drew an outpouring of outrage.
By the afternoon of February 10, the video had been viewed by more than 4 million people.
Chengdu Economia Daily, a media outlet based in Sichuan province, reported the story and interviewed a member of staff from the local education bureau in Fuzhou, who said that Ruichen had other illnesses, and the cause of death was not related to the fall.
The member of staff did not say whether Miss Bao had been punished.
Among all the angry comments online, the one that was liked most times was: “you must defend your rights to the end!”