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Student 'Right to Appeal' Against Punishment Praised

Allowing students to appeal over school punishments will help create an awareness of procedural justice among China's young people

By Xu Mouquan Updated Feb.12

School students will be given a 'right to appeal' under new rules on incentives and punishment published by Beijing city and set to take effect from February 26. The Beijing News welcomes the development in an editorial, saying awareness of procedural justice should begin with the young. 

“Schools should guarantee students’ right to appeal and build a students’ punishment appeal system,” according to the 'Incentive and Punitive Measures for Primary and Secondary School Students.' “Schools should set up a students appeal committee, in charge of accepting students’ appeals against objectionable punishment.”  

There are controversial rules and punishments within China's school system, some of which border on illegal, the editorial says. Certain schools confiscate students’ mobile phones at a moment's notice giving them no right of appeal. Such acts infringe on students’ rights and interests and teach them crude lessons. In comparison, the right to appeal is a more civil educational approach.

The students’ right to appeal is an equivalent power restriction of the schools’ right to punish which will help cultivate awareness of procedural justice among children, the editorial says. Education experts add that the debate, confrontation and argument involved in appealing will help improve students' sense of responsibility as well as their sense of independence – in other words, appealing will better prepare young Chinese people to participate in public life.