ARTS / CULTURE & LEISURE
Xi’an middle school sets up ‘venting room’ for students’ emotional release
Published: Apr 11, 2021 06:46 PM
The venting room facility in a middle school in Xi'an, Northwest China's Shaanxi Province. Photo: Sina Weibo

The venting room facility in a middle school in Xi'an, Northwest China's Shaanxi Province. Photo: Sina Weibo

A middle school in Xi'an, Northwest China's Shaanxi Province, has recently stirred up hot discussion on the internet with its newest facility: a room for students to vent their emotional stress. 

Along with providing courses to guide students' mental health development, the room is a "place for practice" where students can express themselves by doing different types of physical or mental activities such as doodling, boxing, sandplay activity or simply shout out loud. 

The various personalities of students have been considered while activities for them are designed. No matter it is a boy or a girl who shows up, they can put on a pair of boxing gloves to take some swings at a punching bag or shout out loud to release their stress. A drawing wall and a "writer's and reader's corner" have also been set up to provide other means of catharsis for students who are more introverted. 

"I'm intrigued and wish my school had such a room. But, I would feel a little bit shy going there to shout out loud by myself. I'd prefer it if the room held different theme activities every week, like my favorite knowledge-sharing about aquariums, so I would be more comfortable going there," Xingyuan, a Chinese middle school student, told the Global Times on Sunday.     

Mental health supervisors are also presented in the room, proving consultants for students who have particular question while monitoring their activities in the room for safety reason. 

"The stress experienced by these young adolescents can easily be as great as what we adults experience. They face competition, relationships and personal problems as we do; but unlike us, who have more social experiences and can handle problems with more self-control, they can be rebellious as their self-awareness grows at their age… the room is a good place for them to release their pressure as well as for teachers to monitor and spot problems," said Xu, an educator in Beijing, told the Global Times on Sunday.

After the school's "venting room" became a popular topic on China's Twitter-like Sina Weibo, many netizens across the country commented that such facilities were not "new" and that their schools also had them. 

"It isn't about whether a school has one or not. What matters is that it be used for what it was built for, but not like the spot where my son goes to skip class and box his classmate for example… It needs to have professional mentors," said Li, a parent of a middle school student, told the Global Times on Sunday. 


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