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(File pix) The teenager passed out after the alleged punishment and fell into a coma several days later. Thepaper/SCMP Photo

HONG KONG: A junior high schoolgirl from southern China was left in a coma after her school allegedly made her stand outside on a chilly night.

The allegations were reported by News Online, a current affairs programme broadcast by Guangxi Network Television on Sunday.

It said Yang Haoyue was in a deep coma in an intensive care unit.

Yang is feared to have developed multiple organ failure since she passed out on Dec 11 at Guigang City Daxu Township Second Junior High School.

It was claimed that the Year Eight pupil, who is aged around 13 or 14, first passed out on the evening of Nov 29.

She and eight other girls in the dormitory were reported to have been punished by their teachers after being caught talking after bed time.

One of Yang’s classmates told the programme that the girls had been ordered to take off their slippers and stand on the playground barefoot and in pyjamas late at night when the temperature was around 13 degrees Celsius.

They were then told to get down on all fours and adopt a press-up position.

“They told us to get down, with our hands supporting our body and if we dared to move, the punishment would be increased by 30 minutes,” one of Yang’s classmates told News Online.

Yang started shaking after a few minutes before suffering what appeared to be a seizure and fainting, said the student.

She was rushed to hospital and was resuscitated but the experience appeared to have affected her health as she complained about suffering chest pains before passing out for a second time.

In interviews with other pupils and parents the television station heard allegations that other severe physical punishments were used at the school.

News Online visited the school but was turned away by teachers and briefly locked up by school guards.

According to Beijing Youth Daily, Daxu township police are now investigating the case.

It quoted an officer as saying they would study surveillance camera footage to see if it supported the allegations.

Yang’s father said it costs the family 20,000 yuan (US$3,000) a day to support Yang’s intensive care and he called on the school to foot the bill.

It was unclear whether the school would offer financial support to the family.

The school could not be contacted for comment. -- SCMP

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