IN less than a week after the new school semester began, three students in Shanghai jumped to their deaths.
There were even more attempted suicides, and students whose thoughts of self-killing are lurking.
Two articles published in Shanghai Daily lately held academic pressure, or the testing juggernaut accountable for the students' desperate and deadly acts.
In fact, things are not that simple. In many cases, the culprits are the parents who neglect kids' emotional needs, and the schools who seem to offer everything but life morals. Academic pressure alone is merely a catalyst.
Academic performance is not sinful in itself. But parents, in most cases, take a wrong attitude toward children's performance on paper, believing that scores speak for themselves and caring little about kids' emotional yearning.
Kids today take lessons from 8am to 5pm almost without break, come home with heads crammed with subjects and book bags bursting with exercise books - and then are forced to head off to cram schools.
They wish for their parents' loving care for their indescribable fatigue. Even a gentle word can be a great soother. Sometimes their academic striving doesn't pay off with high scores and their usually doting parents can become rigorous, rigid and cold.
For children, father and mother tend to put on a smiling face only when they score high, yet pull a long face when they get lackluster marks. Kids are so often vulnerable to parents' constant mood swings, feeling a deep sense of insecurity and drowning in self-denial.
It should be noted that while corporal punishment is waning, punishing children with "cold violence" is alive and kicking. It's another form of child abuse. Frowning upon kids' test results, many parents often use harsh words and make sarcastic comments.(By Wang Ting )