Parent committees at many schools in China have been “kidnapping” parents who have money. This has been reported in many places.

One was the case at a primary school in Inner Mongolia. The parents committee asked each parent to give 300 yuan, or about $43 to fix up the classroom. The cost was more than 12,000 yuan. And after the incident was made public, authorities demanded a refund and the class teacher made a written inspection. 

In another case, on September 10, Teachers’ Day. 

According to a report by Nanguo Jinbao, a group of parents at a school in Liuzhou, Guangxi province, were asked to pay for a cosmetics gift box for the teacher. A screenshot of the chat record within the parents’ committee was put on the internet. The chat shows a member of the committee calling for the whole committee to buy an expensive cosmetic gift box from an online store for 760 yuan ($110) each for the three teachers. With express delivery, each of the 56 parents had to pay 40 yuan.

However, one of the parents immediately said, “I will not participate.”

After the parent made the statement, other parents said,  “Since you don’t want to participate, there is no need to bother us in the group all the time like that. The committee politely asks you to leave the group now.”

The parent rebutted, but unexpectedly, other parents also asked her to quit, and wrote, “Most people follow the crowd, you are free not to participate. Our group is for everyone to communicate and participate in activities. If you don’t go with the flow, please leave the group yourself.”

One committee parent said that she is seen as a rebellious parent in the class because she doesn’t take part in the annual Teacher’s Day gift. The female parent replied, “I don’t want to draw the whole class’s attention to this.”

The news sparked a lot of discussion. One netizen mocked, “It’s so magical to refuse to pay bribes and have everyone ignore you. Pooling money to buy gifts is justified.” 

Another one said bluntly, “As the daughter of a teacher, I don’t think giving gifts to teachers shows respect for teachers or teaching itself. “

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