Chinese Boy Reportedly Jumps Off Building At Teacher's Order

10/31/2013 01:03 pm ET

The boy, whose body was later found on top of a car, had reportedly been assigned to write an apology for interrupting a class speaking competition at a school in the city of Chengdu in southwest China's Sichuan province. When he did not perform the exercise, his fifth-grade teacher told him to jump from the building, relatives and neighbors said, according to a state media report picked up by the Agence France-Presse on Thursday.

While Chinese education places a high value on deference to authorities, the report of a young student unquestioningly obeying such an outrageous order elicited indignant reactions on Twitter, with users expressing disbelief and calling the incident "appalling."

China has one of the highest suicide rates in the world, and among Chinese citizens between the ages of 15-34, suicide is the number-one cause of death, government health officials say. Pressure to do well in school and high competition to get jobs have both been cited as reasons for why so many young Chinese people take their own lives.

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