A sports teacher in southeastern China has been suspended for making pupils “walk” round an athletics track on their bare knees, according to a local media report.
More than 30 children at Suzhou No 11 Primary School, most of them third-graders, suffered cuts and bruises to their hands and knees as a result of the gruelling exercise, Anhui television reported on Sunday.
“He targeted the pupils who were too small [to defend themselves],” the mother of one of the youngsters was quoted as saying.
“He did it more than once as a physical punishment for the kids,” she said.
The sports teacher, who was not named, denied deliberately hurting the children.
“I didn’t think enough about protective measures, and the pupils were moving too fast.” he said.
“I failed to correct them, and that’s why they got bruises on their knees and palms. It was just meant to be an exercise.”
Duan Lian, the deputy president of the school in Suzhou, Anhui province, said the teacher had been suspended pending a full investigation.
“On behalf of the school I would like to make a most sincere apology to the pupils, parents and society,” he said.