An English teacher paid £52 for a fake tuberculosis diagnosis and chest x-ray just so he could go on an extended holiday.
Mr Du, 23, who teaches at a privately-run cram school in the city of Hohhot, China, provided the fake chest scan to his employers when handing in his sick notice. However, what was meant as a trick to get out of work resulted in the parents of his 18 pupils raising concerns about their own children’s health, revealing pupils in his class did actually have the disease.
When two pupils were diagnosed with the condition for real, Mr Du was caught out by officials after they hauled him in for further tests.
Between the man handing in his sick notice on October 10 and October 31, the school was forced to pay for all of Mr Du’s students – aged around five years old – to be checked for signs of TB.
The teacher received a shock when two children tested positive for TB, leading Mr Du to have to fake a second diagnosis – costing 320 RMB (£35 GBP) – proving he was now clear of the illness.
However, parents were not convinced by the teacher’s second set of hospital documents – particularly because tuberculosis typically requires months of daily antibiotics to clear it from your system – and so the teacher was pressured into taking a third test at a local hospital.
Unsurprisingly, this test proved that not only had Mr Du been clear of TB all along, but that the previous scans he provided belonged to another person entirely. His two sick students appeared to have contracted the disease from another source.
Mr Du, who parents said was popular among students, later apologised to the parents and revealed he did it because he wanted to take an extended holiday to take advantage of China’s National Day break.
The teacher admitted he did not realise how serious TB was when he chose to use it as his sick leave excuse, and that he felt he needed to lie for a second time when he feared his first lie would be exposed.
Parents have since told local media they are demanding further assurance management at the school will improve, but did not say whether they would seek to involve officials with the city’s education bureau.
School director Ms Zhang said she was in the process of visiting every affected family to collect their feedback, but did not say whether Mr Du would keep his job.
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A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).