Last week, a vocational school outside of Chengdu carried out a controversial crackdown on students keeping prohibited electronic appliances in their dorms by smashing the confiscated items with an axe.
The “activity” took place on the sports field of the college in Sichuan’s Pi county. Students gathered around to watch as school officials and other students gleefully took swings at a large pile of blow dryers, rice cookers and kettles that had been confiscated from students’ dorm rooms.
According to Chengdu Business Daily, students were not happy about seeing their things destroyed, believing that the school had violated their private property rights.
A reporter spoke with legal experts about the situation who affirmed that according to relevant private property law provisions, the school and students are equals, meaning that officials aren’t allowed to arbitrarily dispose of students’ property.
The school has since walked back the activity, explaining that the majority of items on display to be smashed were taken from students who had already graduated and left the school. Furthermore, they emphasized that the main reason they held the event was to educate students on prohibited items and dorm safety.
Many Chinese universities around the country ban various high-voltage appliances, such as electric cookers or heaters, from dorm rooms, making things hard for students, particularly when winter comes. Around that time, colleges typically carry out inspections of dormitories, sweeping up prohibited items, leaving students in the cold.
However, by actually destroying the items they grabbed, it seems that this Chengdu college may have actually gone a step or two too far in the minds of many.
“The students may have broken the rules, but the school has broken the law,” wrote one netizen.
“Why can’t you give the students back their stuff after they graduate?” another web user wondered.
[Images via NetEase]