Anorak News | Fan Meizhong, Runner Fan’s Earthquake Confessional

Fan Meizhong, Runner Fan’s Earthquake Confessional

by | 3rd, June 2008

runner-fan.jpg“IN matters of life and death, it’s every man for himself,” says Chinese teacher, Fan Meizhong.


“I ran towards the stairs so fast that I stumbled and fell as I went. When I reached the center of the football pitch, I found I was the first to escape. None of my pupils was with me,” said the Meizhong, known as ‘Runner Fan.’

Later, when some of his students who managed to escape asked him how he could have left them behind, he replied: “I have a very strong sense of self-preservation … I have never been a brave man and I’m only really concerned about myself.”

Notes the Telegraph: “While newspapers have largely followed instructions to concentrate on uplifting tales of rescue work since the earthquake, the internet has seen a wild variety of tales emerge.”

And the internet is where the Telegraph gets its news from.

“I didn’t cause the earthquake, so I have no reason to feel guilty,” he said in an interview. “When I got back to the classroom, the students were all fine.”

He’s in interview after the jump:

Changjiang Times: Why did you post that article on the Internet?
Fan Meizhong: I graduated from the history department of Peking University. After this major historic event, I wanted to record something in words, so I wrote that article online.

CT: Netizens say that it’s OK that you ran, but you shouldn’t be so boastful about it. What do you think about that?
Fan: If I wasn’t wrong to run, then what’s the problem with writing about it? True, a teacher has a responsibility and duty to educate students, but the Education Law does not have any regulations saying that during an earthquake a teacher must save the students. My running off alone didn’t violate national law. It only challenged the traditional ideas of education and morality that many people hold. They believe that a teacher ought to be a model of virtue for others, and in the face of disaster, students are the weaker group so a teacher should help them up.

But the fact is that at the instant of the earthquake, a teacher is weak, too. I had no experience; neither the state nor the school taught me live-saving or rescue techniques. I had no ability to save the entire class. If every teacher was like Mr. Tan [Tan Qianqiu, who used his body to shield four students from a collapsing roof], who gave his life for his students, then we’d have no more heroes. I admire heroes like Mr. Tan, but I can’t do that myself. I love my life more.

Running away before the shit storm hits, and writing about your adventures? Anyone heard that before..?

The Compulsory Education Law does stipulate that “a teacher should be a model of virtue for others and should be devoted to the education of the people.” To be a “model of virtue,” to “undertake the duty stipulated in the law,” to be “devoted to the education of the people”: looking at the Compulsory Education Law, being concerned solely for one’s own life and leaving students behind while fleeing violates the spirit of the law.




Posted: 3rd, June 2008 | In: Broadsheets, Strange But True Comments (8) | TrackBack | Permalink