A 10-year-old Chinese boy, allegedly told to "jump off the building" if he did not complete a school writing task, jumped 30 floors to his death, state media has reported.
The primary school boy from Chengdu, named as Jun Jun, had been talking in class, according to a report on the website of China National Radio, who cited the comments of a neighbouring family.
He was ordered to write a 1,000 word apology, criticising his own character, and to "jump out of a building" if he could not complete the task.
"Teacher, I can't do it," was found written in one of his textbooks, CNR reported. "I flinched several times when I tried to jump from the building."
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Furious relatives have strung up banners outside the school which read: "Return my son! Explain to all parents and kids", according to the South China Morning Post.
The boy's school said Thursday on its verified Sina Weibo account (the Chinese equivalent of Twitter) that the child and three other classmates had been ordered to write an essay accounting for their behaviour after they giggled during a speaking competition, and that his death was an "accident".
CNR reported the boy was regularly top of his class, and had a happy family life, although his parents were divorced.
According to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, China's suicide rate is 22.23 people out of every 100,000, among the highest suicide per capita in the world.
A third of primary schoolchildren in China were reported to be suffering from psychological ill-health as a result of classroom stress and parental pressure, according to one study led by Therese Hesketh, a professor at University College London (UCL) Centre for International Health and Development.
The investigation surveyed 2,191 pupils aged nine to 12 in nine schools in urban and rural Zhejiang, a relatively prosperous coastal province in eastern China. Most of the children complained they struggled to cope with the amount of homework they were assigned.
Over one-third reported headaches or abdominal pains – psychosomatic symptoms of stress – at least once a week. The most stressed children reported incidences of aches or pains four times a week.