A high school PE teacher from Taizhong in Taiwan has made international news after reports emerged that she told a second year female student who had skipped her class to cut herself – to CUT DEEPER!
The teacher’s defense is that she was using ‘reverse psychology’ in an attempt to get the girl to see the error of her ways, but many are shocked and mortified by the student’s claims.
At the Taizhong City Mingde Girl’s High School, the female student in question claims that she was cutting herself because she was upset about some relationship problems that she had recently been experiencing. She skipped the PE class and hid in another classroom to cut herself, two of her friends joined her in attempt to provide support and comfort.
The PE teacher, who has been named only as Lin, immediately saw through the excuse that the girls gave for not attending her class and called them in to the gymnasium to tell them off. Upon discovering the real reason why they had not attended the PE class, Lin started to mock the student who had cut herself, according to a translation from a recent interview that the young girl gave, the teacher said; “Is cutting your wrist fun? How do you call that little/shallow bit cutting your wrist? If you have the guts, cut deeper, idiot.”
The student said that the teacher’s statement made her so angry and upset that she nearly cut herself again. She said that she was already in pain and hurting over the relationship issues she was experiencing and the fact that the teacher mocked her emotions only caused her more anguish.
The school declined to let the teacher be interviewed by reporters, they said that the teacher was trying to use reverse psychology to help the student and did not have any malice in mind, but admitted that the teacher had misspoken and claimed that she had already apologized to the female student.
Somehow though, I don’t think this scandal is going to disappear with an apology…
Feng Qiaolan who is head of Humanistic Education Foundation said: “The reverse psychology rationalization is simply an excuse for the abusing of students, she’s not qualified to be a teacher.”
While I can see how reverse psychology can sometimes be a useful technique when trying to discipline unruly students and do think that a lot of the time teachers get the raw deal these days, in this particular situation the teacher in question was totally out of line.
When dealing with a youth who is obviously troubled and has turned to self-harm, it is the teachers duty to do everything they can to try and help, protect and support that student. Self-harm is a slippery slope that can signify severe depression and mental illness, upon discovering that this student was cutting herself, this teacher should have shown a lot more compassion and gone about trying to arrange for the student to see a counselor or some other kind of help.
She should not have been goading her to ‘cut deeper’ because she bunked a PE lesson!
Transcription and translation of the above Apple Daily video:
FEMALE STUDENT: [She] kept telling me to cut deeper, so I’ll cut deeper for her to see.
REPORTER: At Taizhong City Mingde Girl’s High School, this second-year female high school student recently took to cutting her wrist because of some relationship problems. Surprisingly, a physical education teacher surnamed Lin coldly said to her, “You’re cutting too shallowly,” almost causing her to cut again. Yesterday, this Apple Daily reporter found the girl involved. She said that because of relationship problems, she had hid in a classroom to cut her wrist during physical education class. Two classmates skipped physical education class as well to comfort her. The physical education teacher saw through their made-up excuse that a teacher had held them from class and the next day the three students were all called to the gymnasium to be admonished.
PE TEACHER: Is cutting your wrist fun? How do you call that little/shallow bit cutting your wrist? If you have the guts, cut deeper, idiot.
REPORTER: And she also scolded the other students…
PE TEACHER: Can’t even sit properly, are you trying to look/act cool, trying to see who can be more like a gangster [hoodlum, bad youth], I know even more hardcore gangsters than you.
REPORTER: When the three of them left and didn’t hear the teacher tell them to put away the chairs…
PE TEACHER: Are you deaf?
FEMALE STUDENT: I think treating me like that only hurts me more. I mean, I’m already really hurt from my relationship problem, and you keep making fun of my relationship issues and telling me to cut deeper, so fine, I’ll cut deeper for you then.
CLASSMATE: The teacher said she was using extreme language about the wrist cutting out of concern for her and then said what she had said was not that exaggerated [as the students say].
REPORTER: Yesterday, the school politely declined having the teacher come out to explain herself, saying the teacher was only trying to use extreme words [reverse psychology] to help the student and had no ill intentions but admits that the teacher had misspoke and has already apologized to the student. [...]
Taiwanese Schoolgirl Cuts Wrist, Teacher Says, ‘Cut Deeper!’ (Via China Smack)