M'sian girl, 15, sent to ICU after teacher made class run 30 laps as some students didn't do homework

Collective punishment questioned.

Belmont Lay | May 19, 2022, 05:50 PM

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A female student in Malaysia was sent to the intensive care unit (ICU) for treatment after her physical education teacher allegedly punished the entire class by making them run 30 rounds around the school’s volleyball court with their face masks on.

The run was collective punishment as a group of students in the class did not complete their homework.

The girl suffered from palpitations as a result of the run.

China Press reported that the incident occurred at Foon Yew High School in Kulai, Johor on May 11.

The girl became unwell after running 15 laps, and completed the rest of the punishment by walking the remaining laps.

Her heart rate reportedly accelerated to 200 beats per minute when she got home.

She was then rushed to the hospital and was in shock for a time.

Photo of hospitalised girl put online

The issue came to light after the mother of the 15-year-old teenager posted on Facebook a photo of her daughter lying in a hospital bed and shared about what happened.

The post was widely circulated, with the teacher and school slammed.

A debate on physical punishment ensued.

The post was subsequently deleted but put up again.

The girl's mother had claimed the school brushed her off when she wanted to address the incident after several days had passed.

She said her request to see the principal was rejected when she visited the school.

"They told me the issue has been settled and that mask-wearing was not enforced during physical activity," she said.

Collective punishment not fair

However, the mother said she was told by her daughter that the teacher had asked the class to wear their masks even when exercising, except if they are feeling unwell.

She asked in her post: "If my daughter was lying, then why was the whole class wearing their face masks when running?"

The mother also said it was unfair for her daughter to be punished when she was not the one who did not finish her homework.

The mother wrote that she put up her post online after the school was being dismissive of her.

The principal then called to apologise, she wrote.

The girl's aunt also wrote on Facebook to explain that her niece ran 15 rounds before she started feeling some discomfort.

The teacher then allowed the girl to complete the punishment by walking.

Principal apologised

The girl's parents were then invited to the school on May 18 after the incident blew up.

The principal and teacher involved formally apologised.

The girl's mother said in her latest post that they would no longer be pursuing the matter.

The school’s principal, Ng Fui Choo, told China Press that the PE teacher had erred and that the girl’s parents had accepted the apology from the teacher.

The principal also told the Chinese newspaper that the school could let the girl use the elevator after the parents submit an official letter regarding their daughter’s health condition.

The girl would be deemed not fit to participate in intense exercise with this letter as proof, and that the PE and co-curricular teachers would be informed so that they can monitor the student’s health.

Top photo via Malaysian girl's mother