The girl in “Better Days” seeks help from the school but its weak measures are ineffective and only makes the bullying worse.
That was the bitter experience of Huang Hui, a 26-year-old journalist in Shanghai.
As a young teenager, Huang was targeted after she moved from a village to a town boarding school in the central province of Hubei.
Some of her class-mates thought her inferior because of her rural background.
One of her teachers also took a disliking to her and accused her of gossipping about him.
“He slapped my face and pulled me by the hair into a wall,” said Huang.
“Then I had to get on my knees in front of the dormitory for the whole night while everyone walked past. It was humiliating.”
The bullies then accused her of spilling secrets about them. They beat her up.
“The torture made me feel it was like a prison or hell,” Huang said, calling bullying in schools “very common”.
A younger brother was also a victim.
With her father working in another city — the case for many millions of children in rural China — Huang took matters into her own hands.
“The law of the jungle, that the weak are the prey of the strong, pushed me to grow powerful in high school,” she said.
“I became a member of a school gang, able to stand up to whoever I didn’t like.”
by Peter Stebbings / with Lan Lianchao