Police are investigating a law student who allegedly threw boiling water on a professor who had criticized her for coming late to the class.
The student, surnamed Wang, threw hot water at Professor Jiang Jiyue on the face and neck about 10am on Tuesday at the Songjiang campus of East China University of Political Science and Law.
Jiang, who is in his 50s, suffered second-degree burns on the face and back. The university issued a statement last night, saying Jiang would not be able to take classes for at least a year.
Wang, who is a senior student at the law school, has not been detained as yet.
There were about 60 students in the class. A student witness, who declined to give his name, said Wang was late for the class. She told Jiang she was preparing for her graduate entrance exams at the library and missed the time.
Jiang reportedly remarked that she would not get through the exams if she was late like this, the student said, adding that Jiang said it in jest.
“The professor meant it as a joke,” the witness said.
But during a break in class, Wang took Jiang’s water bottle, went out and filled it with boiling water. She splashed it on his face as horrified students watched.
Jiang told thepaper.cn that he tried to get away when she threw the water but wasn’t quick. He washed his face but still got blisters on the face and neck.
Jiang said he did not expect his student to react the way she did.
“I did not criticize her in a serious way. I said how will you pass the graduate examination when you can’t even figure out the time for your class?
“Then during the break, she took my bottle and I thought she was being nice and regretted her action. I was touched for a moment and said thank you.
“Just before the class resumed, she approached me and I went to take the bottle. The bottle was not covered. She threw the hot water all of a sudden at me,” Jiang told the website.
Ou Ya, a publicity official at the university, said Wang’s parents had been informed after police took over the case. “As an adult, she has to bear the social and legal consequences,” Ou said.