China school official jailed for ringing school bell too early

Students taking an exam 
By: John Roberts 

A school official in central China has been sentenced to one year in jail for ringing a bell too early forcing students to hand in their national college entrance exam almost five minutes before the test should have ended, the state media said.

The national entrance exam is a very competitive test in which high school students battle for the limited number of spots in the country’s universities. Winning a spot in the university brings pride and prestige to the student and their families. Those who go to university achieve great social advancement.

A school official from the province of Hunan, Xiao Yulong, 54, admitted that he made a mistake and rang the school bell four minutes and 48 seconds early, forcing the 1,050 students to turn in their exams before the proper time, local media reported.

The incident lead to hundreds of students with their parents to demand that the government open an investigation. Xiao was negligent in his work and in error he rang the bell early. People believe that his ringing the bell early had a negative impact on their kids because they were not able to complete the exam.

The court sentenced Xiao to one year in jail for negligence, however, the judge sentenced him to time served.