An act of corporal punishment imposed by a high school teacher may have killed a 12-year old girl in Ho Chi Minh City, police say.
Phuoc Hai, a 6th grade student at the Tan Phu District’s Phan Boi Chau Secondary School, reportedly failed to answer questions asked by her teacher on Tuesday afternoon.
To punish the girl, Hai's female teacher, Thao Vy, reportedly had Hai lie face down on a desk while she beat her on the rear with a bundle of rulers she'd gathered from other students.
Hai's classmates later told police that Hai had cried and asked her teacher to hit her on the hand instead of her rear, but Vy ignored her.
After imposing the punishment, Vy asked Hai to return to her desk.
However, the girl reportedly lifted her head for a few seconds before collapsing back onto the desk.
Vy asked another student to help Hai sit up, but the student announced that she had lost consciousness.
Hai was rushed to the school nurse who decided to send the girl, who appeared to be having trouble breathing, to a nearby hospital.
Physicians at Tan Phu District Hospital say Hai was dead on arrival.
The cause of the girl's death is now the subject of a police investigation.
However, police now say Hai has suffered from epileptic seizures since she was eight.
Ta Tan, the head of the district education department, told Thanh Nien newspaper that Thao Vy has been suspended from teaching, pending the results of an investigation.
The school's staff have helped the victim’s family arrange her funeral, Tan said.