13-year-old with cancer forced to sit alone in class because teacher thought his disease was contagious
13-year-old Xiaozhou was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma a year ago but was recently given a clean bill of health from his doctors after the chemo sessions worked
A teacher in a primary school located in South-East China was suspended after he was accused of discriminating against one of his own students who had cancer. The 13-year-old boy, Xiaozhou, was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma. Local Chinese media have reported that the teen was forcefully made to sit apart from the rest of his classmates and wasn't allowed to take his exams because his teacher believed the disease was contagious.
According to Strait News, the child had only recently been transferred to the Liancheng Primary School in Quanzhou, Fujian, so he could be closer to where his parents stayed while he recovered from his chemotherapy sessions. Zhou Xiongying, the teen's father, took to social media in the beginning after his son told him why he didn't get a mark for a midterm examination.
The teacher, who also has the surname Zhou, told the teen that he could not sit with his fellow classmates in class or take the exams because he believed the boy was contagious. According to his report from school, Xiaozhou had missed three exams already.
Videos and pictures that were posted on social media show the teen sitting all by himself at a desk that is quite a distance behind the rest of the class. Zhou said: "Can you imagine what was going through my son's mind during the 45-minute exam? He's forced to sit there like a fool. How sad must he have been?" The furious father also added that his son didn't tell him anything in the beginning because he didn't want his family to worry.
Zhou then mentioned that a little while after his son moved to the current school, a majority of the students did not show up in class. Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma is a type of cancer that started developing in the lymphatic system, a network of vessels and glands that are spread through the body. The teen was diagnosed with the disease a year ago but was recently given a clean bill of health from his doctors after the chemo sessions worked.
According to a statement that was released by Fujian Huian Education Ministry, the teacher, who was also the vice-principal of the school, was suspended. The statement said: "The Hui'an County Education Bureau recently learned about the unfair treatment of a student in Liancheng Primary School and immediately launched an investigation. Zhou, the responsible teacher, has been relieved of his duties as vice-principal and suspended from his position."
The shocking incident started a social media firestorm in the country where the search for "primary school student discriminated against after recovering from tumor" has now gained more than 110 million views. Internet users condemned the teacher's actions while they showered the boy with positive words.
One user said: "Not only does the teacher not have any common sense, but he also does not have the tiniest bit of empathy. He is not fit to be a teacher." Another user said: "Poor boy. After going through the hardships of cancer and chemotherapy, he ended up being discriminated against. How sad must he had felt!"