China plans new measures against campus bullying
Xing Ruinan

In recent years, the public has been shocked by video clips surfacing online showing students being abused by groups of youngsters on school campuses.

Last month, Xiaohui's mother received a call from her daughter in the middle of the night. Xiaohui told her mother in tears that she had been bullied by her schoolmates. The girls beat up Xiaohui, exposed her underwear, and took a video. A guard finally came to her rescue after hearing her screams and cries.

Xiaohui's mother revealed what had happened to her daughter: "Immediately she tried to run away but she couldn't. Those two girls were taller and bigger than her. They took her cellphone right away. Two more girls came later. Four of them in total, blocked my daughter in the corner. They slapped my daughter, pushed her into the corner, verbally humiliated her non-stop. They also talked to others on the phone as if they were live-broadcasting the abuse."

Also in October, what happened in real life was depicted on the big screen. Better Days is a rare attempt by Chinese filmmakers to focus on the nationwide problem of campus bullying. The blockbuster movie raked in 1.2 billion yuan, or over 170 million U.S. dollars just under two weeks after its release.

Qian Kun, Duty Manager of Shanghai Belle Palace Cinema, explained the preferences of movie goers: "We all had similar experiences when we were young. The film reminds people of bittersweet memories. So people come and watch it."

Lawmakers focused on the problem when they gathered in Beijing for a bimonthly meeting this month. A draft revision of the Minors Protection Law includes the first legal protection designed to prevent bullying either physically or online. Under the draft, schools are required to tackle campus bullying, online abuse and notify the guardians in such cases.