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ASIAdocument.write(“” + m[today.getMonth()+1]+ ” “+ today.getDate()+”, ” + theYear + ” “);HOMECHINAWORLDBUSINESSLIFESTYLECULTURETRAVELSPORTSOPINIONREGIONALFORUMNEWSPAPERChina Daily PDFChina Daily E-paperChina Daily Global PDFChina Daily Global E-paperChina / ViewHot IssuesGovernmentSocietyInnovationEducationCover StoryPeoplePhotosA lesson for anti-bullying lawBy Li Fangchao (China Daily) Updated:2016-02-11 14:57Comments Print Mail Large Medium SmallThree Chinese students attending a high school in southern California will serve time behind bars for kidnapping and assaulting a female classmate in a high-profile bullying case.Zhai Yunyao, Yang Yuhan and Zhang Xinlei reached a plea deal with prosecutors on Jan 5. The three 19-year-olds pleaded no contest to criminal charges of kidnapping and assault. Zhai, the prime culprit, faces 13 years in prison, Yang 10 years and Zhang 6 years, according to a report in The Los Angeles Times. And they will be deported to China after serving their sentences.The bullying case, which came to light in March 2014, has caused quite a stir in China. The case, the media speculated, involved a dispute over a love affair and the target of the three students, who sought the help of some other teenagers, was an 18-year-old female classmate surnamed Liu. The victim testified that she was taken to a park, stripped, kicked, slapped and burned with cigarettes. Her ordeal, she said, lasted more than five hours.The plea deal was “the best resolution” as there is “too much of a risk to go to trial”, the attorney of one of the defendants was quoted as saying by the Associated Press. And prosecutors agreed to drop the torture charge under the plea deal.The three students were “deeply shocked” after learning that what they assumed to be a “prank” was actually a felony in the United States which could lead to a life sentence, according to media reports. Judging from their reaction, the three thought the maximum punishment they would get was demerit points from their school. Worse, a parent of one of the students was also detained for trying to bribe prosecutors into dropping the case.The California case shows how ignorant Chinese students and parents are about US laws, but it also serves as a reference for similar cases in China. Bullying incidents are not rare in Chinas schools. Bullying cases have hit the headlines from time to time; sometimes perpetrators have even uploaded videos of their misdeeds on the Internet.However, few offenders receive proper punishment in China. In most of the cases that do not involve severe physical harm, the only “punishment” offenders receive is criticism from schools. As for parents, most of them consider bullying incidents as “small fights” between their children, and it is precisely because of such an attitude that bullying cases have not declined in China.Moral education is important, but a special law to deal with bullying cases would be more effective. For example, led by the US Department of Education, a Bullying Prevention Steering Committee consisting of many other federal departments is in place to guide efforts to end bullying in US schools. In fact, 46 of the 50 US states now have their own anti-bullying laws.Perhaps China could learn from the US in this regard, and the National Peoples Congress, the countrys top legislature, along with the Ministry of Education, could enact a specific anti-bullying law.An important lesson to learn from the California bullying case is “joint liability”. Zhang Xinlei, who claimed to be a bystander during the entire incident, has also received severe punishment. Bullying is often a group action, and without accomplices like Zhang, incidents like the one in California might not take place. So despite not being the prime culprit, Zhang bears joint liability and should receive befitting punishment.Another point to be noted is that though most of the bullying cases involve minors, who are usually immune to criminal responsibility, judges in the US have the right to treat them as adults if the crimes are severe or if they have criminal records.Physical wounds can heal with time, but mental trauma can continue causing pain for the rest of a bullying victims life. This is something lawmakers ought to keep in mind while drafting legislation on bullying.The author is an editor at China Daily. lifangchao@chinadaily.com.cn8.03KPhotoNight views of Harbin through the lensTibetans take train home after pilgrimage or travellingWorlds largest shaftless Ferris wheel built in ChinaAncient cities to be connected by Xian-Chengdu high-speed railwaySnow turns Harbin into winter wonderlandReed Catkin Festival held in WuhanSocietyPoliticsHot TopicsScience/TechBusinessCover StoryFTZ simplifies process to launch businessesJapan can offer experience, expat saysApplication for work streamlinedAwareness of law aids resolutionAir Force units explore new airspaceLow wages and lack of respect responsible for kindergarten abuse, experts sayLiu heralds UK partnership in education and researchAgency ensuring natural gas supplyUN envoys trip to DPRK praised by BeijingChina moves to secure natural gas supply amid rising winter demandXi asks China, Canada to work for substantial tiesCooperation necessary for success, leaders sayLiving in space: How astronauts train, eat and workTeachers excused for lunchtime drinksWaiting for Shenzhou XICancer agent found in 44 cities drinking waterAt Ikea eatery, its no pay, no stayChina lose 2-0 to Uzbekistan in World Cup qualifier, coach Gao resignsC919 gains another 55 orders, lifting total orders to 785Services offset dip in manufacturingFintech to energize real economy, cut risksChinas Long March rockets complete 60 commercial launchesEngineers achieve breakthroughChina-made components add securityOnline shopping rings up customer complaintsImport expo to focus on advanced techSME mobile market platform receives first clientsChina top importer of US soybeansAir China opens direct route from Beijing to BarcelonaInsurance-based trust launchedDandelion helping to sow the seeds of stability for membersCover storyVisa change may boost tourism to USThe wrong side of the roadBuilding ban begins to biteVillagers call on Japan to atone for massacreMost ViewedTodays Top NewsHK chief executive condemns riot, supports police to restore orderHong Kong overnight riot injures at least 48 police officersSpecial troops to help keep China-Pakistan corridor safeNew policies to aid Belt and Road business venturesZika curbs to include mosquito mass exterminationXi visits old revolutionary base areas ahead of Spring FestivalNation in bid to ward off the Zika virusLi drops in for a chat at historic mosquePrison time reduced after 11 show they regret crimesPLA vows support, contributions to military reformImage of an injured monkey in Mount Emei went viral online, attracting attention of a wildlife organization which has come up with three plans to help it.HighlightsInternet firms battle for relevance in red envelope raceFilling 7,000 water tanks a day is vital job for rail team14-year-old invited to Shenzhen two sessions as an observerA thirst for change in polluted waterwaysHot TopicsTransformers stars hospital experience triggers healthcare debate Full text: Beijing Declaration of the BRICS Media Summit Chinas two-child policy puts pressure on sperm banks Ground level Rule of law Panda China youths Anti-terror drive Family planning SmogSpecial5th Plenary Session of 18th CPC Central CommitteeChina Legal Information Center…| About China Daily | Advertise on Site | Contact Us | Job Offer | Expat Employment |Copyright 1995 -var oTime = new Date();
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