Better Believe It......Because They Actually Happen(ed) Collection 54

American students say they were wrongfully detained and roughed up by plainclothes police in China

A flag on the campus of New York University Shanghai. (Photo by Stringer - Imaginechina)

By John Hudson

Nine students, including six Americans, who attend New York University in Shanghai were detained by Chinese police in two separate incidents on the same night last week, university personnel and U.S. officials told The Washington Post.

Two of the U.S. students were apprehended at a bar, according to a student and university faculty. One of them, a young man, was kicked in the head by authorities and the other, a woman, sustained bruising as police in plainclothes attempted to apprehend her, the student said.

Seven students in a separate group, which included citizens of the United States, Finland, Morocco and Malaysia, were taken into custody from a house where they gathered for a birthday party, said students and university personnel. The students tested negative for drug use and were released between 11 and 16 hours later, they added.

It is unclear whether the students were arrested as part of China’s increasingly aggressive anti-drug enforcement policies or targeted for political reasons amid worsening relations with the United States.

President Biden’s national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, and Secretary of State Antony Blinken are poised to meet their Chinese counterparts for the first time on Thursday for a session that Blinken called an “important opportunity for us to lay out in very frank terms the many concerns we have.”

When asked about the arrests, a State Department spokesman said that “the Chinese legal system can be opaque and enforcement of local laws arbitrary,” and that the country’s judiciary “does not enjoy independence from political influence.”

Full story at The Washington Post (March 2021)

Ohio student dies after college fraternity's initiation ceremony

Stone Foltz was a business student at Ohio's Bowling Green State University (Photo courtesy of the Foltz family)

A university student in the US state of Ohio has died after alleged hazing at a college fraternity's initiation ceremony.

Stone Foltz, 20, was made to drink a "copious amount of alcohol", his family's lawyer told US media.

Hazing is a tradition where people pledge their loyalty by doing something painful, humiliating or dangerous.

Mr Foltz is the second student in as many weeks to die following a so-called frat party in the US.

Adam Oakes, a 19-year-old student at Virginia Commonwealth University, was found dead on 27 February after attending a fraternity party.

Hazing is illegal in most US states, including Ohio and Virginia, and police are investigating what happened on the night of the party.

Full story at BBC News (March 2021)

'Tiger Mom' professor Amy Chua denies wrongdoing after she's suspended from teaching Yale law students for hosting 'alcohol-fueled' student dinner parties

• Yale Law professor Amy Chua, 58, sidelined from leading a small group - an informal group of students - over allegations of misconduct

• Yale Daily News published story saying that several students accused Chua of hosting dinner parties for students and drinking with them

• Chua's conduct purportedly violated a 2019 agreement with Yale Law School, under which she promised to cease socializing with students

• Chua's husband, Yale Law professor Jed Rubenfeld, is serving two-year suspension from teaching over claims of sexual harassment

• Chua denied any wrongdoing and insisted she was not seeking to lead a small group

• Chua is best known for writing her 2011 parenting memoir Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mom, in which she touted the 'Chinese way' of rearing children

By Snejana Farberov

Yale Law professor Amy Chua, 58, has been banned from leading a first-year small group - an informal group of students - over allegations of violating an agreement to stop hosting dinner parties for students

Yale Law professor Amy Chua, best known for coining the term 'Tiger Mom,' is hitting back after being sidelined from mentoring first-year students over allegations she had continued hosting alcohol-fueled dinner parties at her home in violation of a prior agreement with the school.

Chua wrote an open letter to the entire Yale Law School faculty on Thursday, denying the claims laid out in a Yale Daily News article, and contending that she is being punished over false allegations from a small group of students who oppose her 'controversial' opinions.

Chua, 58, a married mother-of-two Harvard graduate who has taught at Yale Law since 2001, is known around the world for publishing a book on parenting in 2011 titled Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mom, in which she touted the 'Chinese way' of rearing her two daughters over the 'Western way,' and talked about denying her daughter Lulu a bathroom break during a piano lesson.

Chua's husband, Yale Law professor Jed Rubenfeld (left), has been suspended from teaching over claims of sexual harassment

Chua also wrote an op-ed before sexual assault allegations emerged against US Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, describing him as a 'mentor for young lawyers, particularly women.'

Her eldest daughter, Yale Law graduate Sophia Chua-Rubenfeld, clerked for Kavanaugh.

Chua and her husband were both previously accused of telling young law students how to dress if clerking for him. Chua was also accused of telling young students that Kavanaugh preferred attractive clerks. He denied the claims.

Last year, Chua's husband, fellow Yale Law professor Jed Rubenfeld, was suspended for two years from teaching over allegations of sexual harassment, including unwanted touching and attempted kissing, involving multiple students. He has denied the claims.

The latest controversy erupted last week, when Yale's independent student newspaper published a story, revealing that Chua has been suspended from leading a first-year 'small group,' which is an informal learning group comprised of about 15 students that meets outside classroom.

According to the article, the decision to strip Chua of her leadership role was made after multiple students have come forward, claiming that the professor had been hosting dinner parties at her home during the pandemic, with her husband present, despite signing a confidential agreement in 2019 that barred her from drinking and having out-of-class interactions with students.

Full story at Mail Online (April 2021)

Over 1,600 Teachers, Many of Them on Poll Duty, Died in UP Since April Due to Covid: Association

Representative image

Over 1,600 teachers and workers of the Basic Education Department have died in Uttar Pradesh since the first week of April due to COVID-19, a teachers’ body said on Tuesday, claiming that 90 per cent of them were on panchayat polls duty.

“As many as 1,621 teachers and workers of the Basic Education Department have died since the first week of April following the outbreak of the second wave of COVID-19 to May 16. Of these 1,621 deaths, more than 90 per cent of the teachers were on panchayat election duty," said Dr Dinesh Chandra Sharma, president of the Uttar Pradesh Praathmik Shikshak Sangh. He also claimed while 8-10 people died due to heart attack, the majority of deaths were due to COVID-19.

Expressing sorrow over the death of teachers, Satish Chandra Dwivedi, the UP minister of state (independent charge) for basic education, however, said that all these deaths cannot be attributed to elections and according to government data, only three teachers died due to COVID.

In a statement issued here, Sharma said, “By the third phase of the panchayat polls, the count of deceased teachers/workers of the Basic Education Department was 706. By the fourth and final phase and the counting day, in a span of a fortnight, the number escalated to above 1,600."

In a meeting with the chief secretary on May 1, they were assured that teachers and workers who were ill would be exempted from voting and counting duty for the panchayat elections. However, action was initiated to either suspend or cut salaries of those people who were ill and did not attend voting and counting duty, the statement said.

The teachers of the Basic Education Department were also allowed to work from home, but despite this, teachers in Lucknow, Unnao, Rae Bareli, Bandam, Basti, Hardoi and other districts were posted at the COVID Control Room, it claimed, adding that these teachers also succumbed to COVID-19.

Full story at News 18 (April 2021)

Govt Schools in Southern Myanmar Targeted With Bombs and Fire

The high school in Ka Myaw Kin village was razed by fire on May 24. / CJ

Three schools in Dawei in southern Myanmar were hit by bombs and a fire on Monday, as school enrollment week for basic education students commenced.

Explosions took place at a basic education high school and a post-primary school in Dawei, the capital of Tanintharyi Region, on Monday evening, while a fire broke out at another basic education high school on the outskirts of town, according to local residents.

“A bomb was thrown at No. 6 Basic Education High School. The attack was targeted at the office of the school headmistress who opted not to join the civil disobedience movement. But the bomb just hit the lower parts of the office and exploded. A bomb was hurled at the post-primary school shortly afterwards. No one was injured,” said a Dawei resident.

Following the explosions, junta troops came in four military vehicles and inspected passers-by. Junta forces also provided security for the headmistress of No. 6 Basic Education High School.

A basic education high school on Maung Ma Kan Road in Ka Myaw Kin village caught fire around 10pm Monday, said the Dawei resident. The school building was razed by the fire.

Full story at The Irrawaddy (May 2021)

The Malaysian schoolgirl using TikTok to challenge school abuse

Malaysian teenager Ain Husniza Saiful Nizam's unexpected rise from anonymous pupil to national leader against school harassment began with a teacher allegedly joking about rape. — AFP

Malaysian teenager Ain Husniza Saiful Nizam's unexpected rise from anonymous pupil to national leader against school harassment began with a teacher allegedly joking about rape.

When the 17-year-old called out the incident in a viral TikTok clip, thousands of fellow students responded by sharing their harrowing experiences of verbal and physical harassment.

The massive outpouring inspired Ain to create the #MakeSchoolASaferPlace online campaign — despite a vitriolic pushback on social media, a rape threat, and a warning she could face expulsion.

"When I spoke out about it, (I got so much) hate towards me and I don't know why," she told AFP. "It's just making schools a safer place. What is there to debate about it?" The reaction has only strengthened her resolve to combat what she believes is pervasive mistreatment of girls in Malaysia's education system.

"We can't let this cycle of abuse continue in our schools." Ain recorded her TikTok — now watched over 1.8 million times — in April after being appalled by her male physical education teacher's joke during a class.

Standing in front of a mirror with her phone, she explained everything seemed normal as he discussed how to prevent harassment with male and female students.

But he then pointed out there were laws protecting minors from sexual abuse — so if the boys wanted to commit rape, they should target women above 18.

Full story at The Star (June 2021)

Hong Kong national security police raid university student union as part of investigation into stabbed officer motion

• Police enter student union office on HKU campus and cordon off surrounding area; officers also search the on-site premises of student media

• University previously cut ties with the union over its response to Causeway Bay knife attack and condemned students for ‘serious misconduct’

By Nadia Lam, Clifford Lo and Jeffie Lam

Hong Kong’s national security police outside the student union office at the University of Hong Kong. Photo: Felix Wong

National security police have raided the offices of the student union and campus media at the University of Hong Kong (HKU) after youth leaders formally expressed appreciation for the “sacrifice” of a man who stabbed an officer before killing himself.

A police source said detectives were investigating whether the student leadership had advocated or incited terrorism under Article 27 of the national security law, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.

The operation was launched three days after the university severed all ties with the union, accusing its leaders of “serious misconduct” for passing the since-withdrawn motion and strongly condemning them for “blatantly whitewashing violence, challenging the moral bottom line of our society, and damaging the reputation and interests of the entire HKU community”.

Police moved in on the student union office at the Pok Fu Lam campus at about 3.15pm, extending their search to other floors of the union building and parts of the university housing the video production team Campus TV and magazine Undergrad, both of which are run by students.

No union members were in the office at the time, nor were they spotted in the vicinity. The chairmen of the two media outlets are also members of the Students’ Union Council, which passed last week’s motion in tribute to the dead knifeman.

About 40 officers from the force’s National Security Department were deployed for the search, which lasted nearly four hours, with dozens of Police Tactical Unit officers on standby, according to the police source.

Kong Chak-ho, chairman of Campus TV, said about a dozen police officers had spent nearly two hours combing its office in front of him and the station’s lawyer. A host computer was taken away from the office, Kong added.

Also present were university representatives, including Professor Samson Tse Shu-ki, the dean of student affairs, who was supporting students at the scene.

Police inside the student union offices at the University of Hong Kong. Photo: Felix Wong

The source said the operation was linked to the motion passed on Wednesday last week by the 30 representatives of the student union council, which expressed “deep sadness” at the death of the lone attacker who stabbed a police constable on duty in Causeway Bay on July 1, before turning the knife on himself.

The president of the union and members of its executive committee were not in the building at the time of the raid, he said, adding the operation was aimed at gathering evidence and police were not expecting to make arrests on Friday. Detectives seized computers and documents during the search.

Full story at South China Morning Post (July 2021)

Boy, 5, left alone in school bus for 9 hours dies of heatstroke

Futaba nursery school that Toma Kurakake attended in Nakama, Fukuoka Prefecture. Photo taken July 30 (Eiji Hori)

NAKAMA, Fukuoka Prefecture--A 5-year-old boy left alone in a locked school bus for nine hours in blazing heat died of heatstroke in what police suspect was a clear-cut case of negligence on the part of the nursery school he attended.

Toma Kurakake boarded the bus as usual on July 29 to go to the Futaba nursery school here but inexplicably the driver did not check to ensure that all the children got off when they arrived.

As a result, Toma was left alone from the morning to evening for about nine hours. An autopsy showed that he died of heatstroke.

Fukuoka prefectural police are investigating the case as one of professional negligence resulting in death.

Around 5 p.m. on July 29, Toma’s mother contacted the nursery school because her son was not on the bus due to take him home.

It later emerged that Toma was still aboard the bus that took him to school in the morning.

“I didn’t check whether all the kids got off,” the head of the nursery school, who drove the morning bus, was quoted as telling police, according to investigative sources

“My son will never come back again,” his mother, 37, wailed.

Full story at The Asahi Shimbun (August 2021)