Fined & Shamed: Foreign Teacher Who Threw 5 Year-Old in Pool Pays the Price

Fined & Shamed: Foreign Teacher Who Threw 5 Year-Old in Pool Pays the Price
Jul 05, 2012 By

Editor's Note: The following article was translated and edited from an article that appeared on the iFeng news site with supplements from a related article from The article concerns a recent incident in Shandong Province in which a foreign teacher threw a five-year-old Chinese girl in a swimming pool, distressing the child and her family. After a lengthy argument, the man finally agreed to apologize and pay the family 20,000 RMB as compensation.

The foreigner who threw the child is escorted away by police

On July 1st, the Qilu Evening Post reported on a New Zealand man throwing a 5-year-old girl in a swimming pool, a story that has since made significant waves on the Chinese internet. Under the terms of the agreement between the man and the girl's family, the man is to apologize and pay 20,000 RMB in compensation.

Ms. Tian, mother of Dongdong, the thrown girl, spoke to reporters on July 2nd. After the incident, Ms. Tian and the authorities watched the security camera footage, and confirmed that, after Dongdong swam close enough, the man took her and raised her high in the air before throwing her back down into the meter-deep water, causing her to almost hit the floor of the pool. After Dongdong returned to the surface, she was retrieved by a Chinese man. According to Ms. Tian, "She didn't just fly safely from the foreign man to the Chinese man's arms; that's why we're all so upset."

"Money's not the issue; the issue is that the foreign man was being completely inappropriate," Ms. Tian added.

Family seek punishment; compensation deal reached

After the incident, Dongdong's family had difficulties coming to an agreement with the man. According to Ms. Tian, the man and his family repeatedly pleaded with her to take pity on their financial situation: "They said he worked at Shandong Finance and Economics University, only makes 5,000 RMB a month, just had an operation, basically that money was tight. But we didn't budge. The offense wasn't enough to get him arrested, but we just couldn't let him off without some kind of punishment, teaching him some sort of lesson." Eventually the two sides reached an agreement in which the man would pay 20,000 RMB to the family.

According to Ms. Tian, Dongdong's grandmother was shocked and physically distressed by the incident, forcing her to lie down immediately upon returning home. Dongdong was also visibly troubled, refusing to sleep alone: "She curled up with her grandmother, talking and calling out for her mother in her sleep."

"The foreign man's wife wanted to come with her husband to our home and apologize in person, but I was afraid Dongdong and her grandmother would become too upset upon seeing him, so at the time I said no," Ms. Tian told reporters.

Identity of the foreign man revealed

Sources have identified the New Zealand man's Chinese name as Wu Side, a teacher at Shandong Finance and Economics University, whose teaching contract is set to expire in August of this year.

On the afternoon of the 2nd, the director of foreign affairs office at the university told reporters, "Wu Side is in fact employed at the university as a foreign teacher, and we know that he underwent heart surgery in February. Because of his age and his health condition, after much deliberation we'd already decided to cancel his foreign expert permit. Now, considering the incident with the girl, we've decided not to renew his contract."

The university also told reporters that, until his eventual departure, the school will continue to expect him to follow Chinese legal and ethical codes.

Wang Wei, senior attorney for Shandong's Qianshun law firm, told reporters that anyone who breaks the law, be he/she foreign or Chinese, is susceptible to incarceration, fines, and/or education. "However, seeing as the man in question inflicted no harm upon the girl, the situation does not warrant an arrest. The agreement with Wu Side paying compensation to the family is a lawful and reasonable arrangement."

Reporters talked to one of the man's students, Lin, who has taken one of his classes and found him to be very knowledgeable about China, but only an "average" teacher. Lin also said the man, known to students as "Phillips", lives in the same apartment building as students and likes to discuss politics with students in class. "He's active in a lot of administrative groups on campus, so lots of students know him. When we heard the description of the foreign man in the news, we figured it must have been him."


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Keywords: foreign teacher swimming pool Shandong foreign teacher case


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He didnt :)

Feb 20, 2017 17:30 Report Abuse



I remember reading this story 5 years ago. the girl is 10 now. I also heard that the girl told someone that her grandmother made up the story to get money. I guess this could be looked at as a lesson for us. When in China don't have fun with the Children. Unless of course you have lots of money.

Feb 10, 2017 21:58 Report Abuse




Jul 07, 2016 13:14 Report Abuse



This story is totally blown out of proportion.

May 31, 2016 17:36 Report Abuse



poor girl

Sep 28, 2015 14:09 Report Abuse



This is stupid. And no word about why an old man did it. I bet this child did something outrageous.

Aug 06, 2015 19:41 Report Abuse



This is stupid. First, Chinese parents don't watch their naughty children, then these children do what ever they want and then foreigners are blamed. Oh, came on! And no word about why an old man did it. I bet this child did something outrageous.

Aug 06, 2015 18:30 Report Abuse



Let me start with this: No one should ever hurt a child. Rather east or west!!! I do not know hat went on in this story other than what was stated in the article. Neither does anyone else commenting. But we are all free to give our view or opinion. I do understand one thing about Chinese parents. They will look (most) for any opportunity to extort money from foreign teachers/workers and will look for ways to make themselves look important. I have a teacher friend who corrected a little emperor in his class. The child was disruptive in class but this day he broke parts from a window sill in the classroom. The broken laminate was sharp and could have harmed the child and other children. The teacher spoke to the child about his action and ask him to move from the area. The child started crying. His mother ran to the viewing window and the other parents told what really happened. The boys parent was embarrassed by what her child had done and that the teacher had, publicly, corrected him. She complained to the school and they requested that the teacher leave the school. When he would not accept their offer to end the contract and pay him for the full month, They refused to allow him to the school and ordered him from the school apartment. They then offered pay for part of the month and gave him and his wife till the evening of the next day to sign the agreement and leave the apartment. Holding his pay till he signed and left. You see, many parents in China will look for any reason to get extra money. They will even use their children. This school released the teacher to avoid paying the parent for the embarrassment. They refused to pay the remainder of the contract to save face. (The teacher demanded the contract be paid in full as was in the contract and to have the 30 day period to secure another apartment and to have time to move) And no, the local court would not hear the case.

Jun 15, 2015 13:05 Report Abuse



*sigh* Another case of Chinese money-scheming.

Mar 03, 2015 19:40 Report Abuse



Not taking sides here, just want to say that it irks me how often the adjective "foreign" is used in the article. The implication seems to be that the man's nationality rather than what he did that was the main factor in determining the heinousness of the act. I understand that a lot of Chinese don't have much experience being around foreigners but come on, we're all human, aren't we?

Feb 22, 2015 09:52 Report Abuse




Feb 04, 2015 16:22 Report Abuse



invite foreigner to pool party, create atmosphere of fun, then seize opportunity to employ racist, corrupt system to gain profit.

Jan 11, 2015 09:53 Report Abuse



My daughter's comment: "A 5 year old child harassing an adult?!?! These commentaries are just unbelievable. Obviously I don't know the case and might be that there are some precedents of people trying to make money out of this (like everywhere else in the world). But is that a reason to vomit all these racist statements just because you're anonymous? Shame on them!!" I am an expat in China and I would love to see all those expats who think that they are superior or who simply understood NOTHING about this country to go home where they belong. In the name of the so-called "Western covilized world" I extend my apologies to our Chinese hosts.

Jun 26, 2014 15:59 Report Abuse



And guys, we are all forgetting about poor gradmother who was shocked and physically distressed by the incident, half of the money payed was probably spent to get her out of shock...

Apr 18, 2014 11:52 Report Abuse



What an odd story, and I thought that yahoo news had the monopoly on badly written articles.

Dec 30, 2013 15:31 Report Abuse



Did he throw her into the shallow end of the gene pool or was she already in it?

Sep 13, 2013 06:51 Report Abuse



Really feel sorry for this teacher. This women just saw an opportunity to make money. I left China six months ago and glad I did. Of course, I met some genuine and great people, but as a Whole And the salary for a teacher are not good anymore. It's just not Worth it anymore, unless you are in your 20's and looking for an "experience abroad". The chinese are destroying their culture and country. It's a real shame, as it is, or rather was beautiful. For a westerner, particularly from Europe, it's too full on..Unless you live in the country side

Aug 20, 2013 20:22 Report Abuse



It's too pathetic that this is a fully grown man earning 5000 yuan a month, this is why you don't try and make a career out of English teaching in China.

Jul 28, 2013 22:47 Report Abuse



After thought: Just how far and high can a man who's just had heart surgery throw a five year old?

Jul 02, 2013 07:30 Report Abuse



You've got to be kidding me! She's five years old! Thrown into a metre deep pool! I used to love it when my Dad did that to me! Didn't know a kid who didn't! Another case of over protective, Molly coddling parents, who say the money isn't important! Yeah right! Who's gonna sniff at 20k. Easy money. Highlighting a major problem in Chinese parenting.

Jul 02, 2013 07:27 Report Abuse



This sounds half economic opportunism on the part of little DongDong's parents, and half of that obnoxious hysteria that Chinese get whenever a kid get so much as a bump or a scratch. It's why I can't work with children in this country--unless they are unnaturally shielded from EVERYTHING, you had better believe the grand/parents will be in some real distress. Bloody nose in class? You'd think the kid needed a transfusion. Kid falls down playing duck-duck-go and bruises his arm? He could have been maimed for life! Teacher yells at a kid for slugging her? Psychological blow to his confidence that could potentially lead to his suicide (I'm not joking. That happened to a co-worker). But hysteria does not translate into real world damages.

Jun 18, 2013 12:34 Report Abuse



"According to the article".

Since when did anyone with half a clue about China and the way things work here, give any serious "official" credence to an article?

There is a previous comment by someone who lives in Jinan and probably knows someone who knows this old fella. I'd give that version more credence than any reported article in China!

Jul 08, 2012 17:38 Report Abuse



This is news worthy? What a joke! If this was something that a Chinese person had done, we would never hear about it! Every little thing that foreigners do now is going to end up as NEWS>>>> Be careful foreigners, it seems we aren't wanted here anymore......

Jul 12, 2012 18:25 Report Abuse



Too pucking right!

Jul 08, 2012 01:39 Report Abuse



The children of the poor in the United States have parents not highly socially developed. which hurts their social advancement in life. Most of their parents have not had accounting for budgeting their earnings. In this situation the children of the poor in China and in America have similar learning problems.

Foreign students in the US tend to stay in their country groups when studying and during their free times. They do not learn American customs due to their limited social contacts and learning textbook subjects which they cannot easily apply to their cultural situations in China. Chinese parents brought to America live with other older Chinese, often with six to a small apartment, and do not learn American culture.

Jul 06, 2012 00:02 Report Abuse