Shanghai authorities this week launched an investigation into a set of photos that blew up on social media, showing a student holding an umbrella for his teacher while on a school excursion.
The images, posted to Weibo on April 30 by user @hellhell, show the boy lifting the umbrella over the woman’s head as she walks along in sunglasses, fanning herself off. Everywhere the woman went, it seems, the boy was sure to follow.
After the images went viral online, the boy’s teacher was accused of abusing her power by using the student as her personal umbrella stand.
The Baoshan education department confirmed that the woman is indeed a teacher at the Gucun Central Primary School, but insisted that the doting student’s umbrella holding was purely voluntary.
The department issued a statement saying that it had reminded teachers to discipline themselves and look out for their students. The school also said in a statement that it had spoken to the teacher about the matter. “We held a meeting with all our teachers and asked them to learn from the incident,” it said.
The teacher later apologized in a tear-filled interview with local reporters, confirming that the child held the umbrella up for her during a school trip to Peace Park on April 30 and that she did not object.
The ethics surrounding umbrella-holding has become a hot topic on Weibo lately. Last week, images of a security guard holding up an umbrella for an elderly wheelchair-bound woman who was left outside in the sun went viral online, but in this case, the guard was praised by netizens for his kindheartedness.
[Images via people.cn]