Yuzhang school, which described itself as a youngster behavior-correction institution in Nanchang, Jiangxi province, is embroiled in a scandal as some of its previous pupils claimed online that they were illegally beaten and shut in a small, dark room for days by the school. After probing, local authorities said the beatings did take place and they will punish those responsible.
The school has always claimed to be following traditional Chinese culture. On the school's official website, they introduced their own programs for "training traditional Chinese culture teachers" nationwide.
The school even had a sculpture of Confucius in its yard and ordered "trainees" to bow and kneel before it every morning.
They claimed, "Modern society does not tolerate corporal punishment enough, which is part of traditional Chinese culture."
Yuzhang School was abusing traditional Chinese culture when they beat students in its name. Take Confucius whom they worship as an example. A founding figure of traditional Chinese culture, Confucius left the world hundreds of quotes about education, yet none of them advocates physical punishment. Instead, Confucius said that teaching should be a process of setting an example and letting students learn with the heart, not coercing them to learn using force.
On the basis of Confucius and other leading cultural figures, traditional Chinese culture features values that are compatible with today's world, namely tolerance, harmony and a good society. None of them has anything to do with beating or other physical punishment.
Besides abusing traditional Chinese culture, Yuzhang School and some of its staff are also suspected of breaking the law because they were reported to beat and illegally shut the students in dark rooms. Now that the school has already been shut down, we expect the local police and procuratorate to further investigate and hold accountable anyone found to have committed any wrongdoing.