BackStories » Saigon » A Student Was Punished for Insulting BTS Online. Now the School Is in Trouble.

A Student Was Punished for Insulting BTS Online. Now the School Is in Trouble.

He must really hate K-pop.

According to Tuoi Tre, an eighth grade student at Ngo Quyen Secondary School in Tan Binh District was suspended for three days after organizing an online campaign against the hugely popular K-pop group BTS.

The unnamed male student also had his moral score at the school reduced for the remainder of the semester, and had to read a self-criticism letter in front of his entire school last week. A student's moral score, or hạnh kiểm, is based on criteria like attendance, completing homework and in-class behavior.

The news source reports that the boy created a Facebook page called 'Anti BTS in Vietnam' and posted a number of photos and written posts against the boy band and their fans, known as ARMY.

Nguyen Ngoc Thu, the school's vice principal, told the news source that students and alumni alerted her to the boy's online activities, and he also received text messages from BTS fans complaining about what he was doing. They also posted on the school's Facebook page demanding that the student apologize.

The unorthodox punishment was intended to "deter, educate and protect" the student, Thu said. However, some have criticized the school's response. Many parents agree that the student needs to be disciplined for his actions, but complain that forcing him to apologize publicly is out of line.

"Implementing such a strict penalty is not always a good way to educate students," Nguyen Doan Trang, head of a middle school in Saigon, said. "The disciplinary action should be based on suitable procedures and regulations."

The public humiliation that the student had to endured is deemed inappropriate by many, including the municipal education department, which has instructed the district education office to investigate and devise disciplinary actions against those involved, reports Tuoi Tre. The Tan Binh District Office of Education and Training, meanwhile, is waiting for the school to submit a report on the incident.

"The school can't bow to pressures from netizens and give out punishments so hastily," Deputy Director of the HCMC Department of Education and Training Bui Thi Diem Thu tells the newspaper in Vietnamese. "Especially when the punishment is forcing the student to read out an apology letter in front of the whole school, then publishing [the video] online, because this is inappropriate, demeaning and insulting to the student."

[Top photos via Tuoi Tre and Seventeen]

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