Gaokao pressure sees first student suicide
- Source: Global Times
- [01:20 June 10 2011]
By Liu Chang
A student in Shaoyang county, Hunan Province, committed suicide on the first day of gaokao, China's college entrance exam.
Web sources reported that an exam supervisor prevented the student from entering the venue for arriving late, although local police refuted these speculations and blamed the suicide on the boy trying to avoid the exam, the Shanghai Morning Post reported on Thursday.
On Tuesday, the first day of the national exam, Lü Pin, an 18-year-old graduating student in the No.1 High School in Longhui township, jumped off his sixth-floor dormitory window to his death.
Microblogs reported that Lü had arrived 15 minutes late for the exam and that he took his own life after being refused entry.
However, local police in Shaoyang county said that the initial calls alerting them to the tragedy had been received at 8.57 am Tuesday, or three minutes before the gaokao starting time of 9 am, rendering the late arrival version of events impossible, the report said.
Tan Zhutian, a police officer with the Longhui public security bureau told the Shanghai Morning Post that the student had suffered from some psychological issues in the month prior to gaokao, and "refused to participate in gaokao before his parents managed to persuade him taking the exam."
Tan said the police had preliminarily established that Lü killed himself to avoid the exam.
Another report by the Beijing News corroborated Tan's statement. One of Lü's classmates told the newspaper that Lü had taken a one-month leave because of psychological issues, and was asked to take the exam by his parents who spoke to him the day before the start of gaokao.
The student also said that Lü usually awoke at 6:20 am, but did not appear at the test venue on Tuesday morning. His teacher went to search for him in the dormitory, but discovered the boy about to jump.
A witness was quoted by the Beijing News as saying that Lü was grabbed by three teachers who tried to stop him, but that he finally managed to break free from their grasp and jumped.
The No.1 High School in Longhui refused to be interviewed by the Global Times, saying they had no comment on this incident.
In 2010, three separate deaths of gaokao takers were reported in Hubei and Jiangsu provinces on the first day of the exam as well, highlighting the pressure that young examinees have to bear during China's most intense academic test.