Students in Shaanxi have held a protest after their secondary school cancelled new year’s celebrations for individual classes.

Nearly a thousand students gathered around the school building, calling out the name of the school principal in protest. Some may have lit their books on fire and threw them down from the upper levels, according to local news site Huashang Wang.

student protest new years
Photo: The Paper.

One student at Wugong Puji Middle School told Huashang that the protests erupted due to students’ anger at the cancellations. Each class holds its own celebrations every year, the student said, so the students decorated their classrooms and bought food. After the preparations were made, they suddenly received notice from teachers that the school had banned the celebrations.

A video clip that students provided to the paper showed that all the lights were turned off in the classrooms, and many students chanted the school principal’s name. The bottom level of the building was littered with pieces of paper, and a few students lit pieces of cardboard on fire and threw them down to the bottom level.

The Wugong county’s education bureau said that the incident occurred on Thursday at 8:30pm, and was caused by individual students making trouble and setting cardboard on fire. It lasted for about two minutes and was curbed right away. The school has also taken action against several students. It said it cancelled the celebrations for safety reasons and that the school would host a large new year’s celebration on December 30.

Catherine is a Canadian journalist and photographer who lived in Beijing for almost two years, working in TV and online media. Aside from Hong Kong and mainland affairs, she is also interested in urban spaces, art and feminism. She holds a BA in Literature and Art History from the University of British Columbia.