Zhang Datong, vice principal of the No.2 High School of East China Normal University, and a member of the Shanghai Political Consultative Committee, has been sacked after a group of former students, now men in their 30s, went online to accuse him of having “intimate bodily contacts” with them 15 years ago. Zhang is something of a celebrity teacher in Shanghai because he has trained a long list of students that won gold medals at the International Physics Olympiad.
Xu Chi of Shanghai Daily writes:
Zhang was sacked one day after more than 10 men now in their thirties went on microblogging site weibo.com and made the accusations using, they said, their real names.
“As a physics teacher, Zhang has behaved in a way violating teacher ethics, toward male students, with the excuse of taking them for examinations of their bodies,” said Internet user Liu Yidong.
“As victims, we decided not to remain silent but to tell the incidents to the public using real names,” the man added.
Another Internet user who identified himself as “Bihan” wrote that he could testify that the teacher had “inappropriate bodily contacts with 10-plus male students by taking them for body exams alone after class.”
“He was a legend in those years. I thought that I could have glorious achievements after getting his special coaching,” another man, Yanfeng Chen, wrote. “After coaching, he had ‘intimate contacts’ with me, and I thought it was love from a good teacher. But later I started to doubt and fear as the special treatment continued. I gathered the courage to come forward now as a father and I hope it won’t be too late.”
“I chose to keep silent due to ignorance at that time. Now I feel angry when assuming that my son might have the same experience as I had,” another member of the group, Li Pinxiang, wrote. “I don’t want the next generation of students to be harmed.”