Chinese actors Wang Yibo (left) and Xiao Zhan. (Photo: Global Times)
A middle school teacher in East China's Fujian Province was suspended after she hailed young-generation star Xiao Zhan and encouraged students to learn from him to be a positive person, sparking widespread controversy online.
Deeming her action highly improper, the Xiamen Education Bureau confirmed late Friday that the Lianhua Middle School teacher in Xiamen had been suspended.
"I like Xiao Zhan. I'm hoping my children to learn from him…and I recommend you to learn from him, hoping my students could be as bright, modest and polite, positive and kind as him," the teacher told her students during an online class on March 16.
The online class was reportedly a lesson on "cyber violence," and the teacher was supposed to impart the example on helping students distinguish between the truth and falsehood, a parent was quoted as saying by media.
The fan club of Xiao issued an apology late Friday night over recent irrational behaviors of fans, requesting netizens and fans to be rational and not to boycott a group simply because of an individual's comments.
Meanwhile, online views on the incident were divided. While some Chinese netizens and parents slammed the teacher's action as immoral, others said it is not a big deal, as the teacher mentioned Xiao in her class only as an example of "cyber violence."
Meng Jiahang, an 18-year-old student who has followed the case, told the Global Times it is inappropriate for a teacher to incite students to chase a star, which implies the teacher lacks seriousness in the class.
"I have a bad impression on Xiao because his devoted and loyal fans always acted irrationally. How come a teacher is asking students to learn from a star?" Meng asked.
Previously, a primary school teacher in East China's Jiangsu Province was suspended for instructing her students to appear in a short video in support of Xiao Zhan.
A staff from the Xiamen Education Bureau said they had received several phone calls that reported the behavior of the teacher.
Xiong Bingqi, a deputy director of the Shanghai-based 21st Century Education Research Institute, told the Global Times on Saturday that only by judging a teacher who worships internet celebrities labeling a teacher's morality is an "overaction."
As long as they do not directly incite students to participate in chasing for celebrities, there is nothing to be criticized, Xiong said.
The local education authority should organize teachers to learn the boundaries of introducing the celebrities on classes as nowadays teachers tend to be younger who might also be fans of mainstream celebrities, Xiong said.