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School under fire for trying to ban mingling of boys and girls

BEIJING: A middle school in Qingyuan, Guangdong province, is amending a set of rules that restrict a wide range of interactions between male and female students, after images of the document were uploaded online that touched off a heated debate.

The rule, formulated by the administration of Qingxin District No 1 Middle School, prohibits male and female students from going in and out of the school canteen together, getting food for each other at the canteen, using a meal tray together or feeding each other.

The rules, dated March 8, also say that no student may carry personal belongs, such as a bag or jacket, for another student of the opposite sex.

Giving or accepting a gift from a member of the opposite sex is banned, along with lingering on school roads, playgrounds and in dormitories.

Physical contact of any kind between male and female students, including hugging and kissing, are “strictly prohibited”.

Punishments for violating the rules range from verbal admonishment to demerits and even expulsion.

They were meant for internal discussion and have not been implemented yet, the school administration said.

The administration admitted that the wording of the rules needed to be improved.

The Qingxin district education bureau said the school will make the rules public after they’ve been amended.

Such rules are unnecessary and discriminatory, according to Xiong Bingqi, deputy dean of the 21st Century Education Research Institute.

Any school rule should comply with the education law and safeguard students’ rights, including the right to interact with others, he said, adding that students should be guided, not put under restrictive rules. — China Daily/Asia News Network