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Young lovers accuse school
( 2004-01-20 10:09) (eastday.com)

Two student lovers, whose high school captured them kissing and broadcast the images to the entire school, filed suit for a breach of privacy.

Love at a young age is not a rare phenomena in China nowadays. [China Daily/file]
The students, who labored last summer at menial jobs so they could afford the services of an attorney, and who have since graduated, said they were outraged when their school recorded them at an intimate moment.

The Hongkou District People's Court heard the case yesterday.

The couple is seeking compensation of 5,000 yuan (US$602) for mental anguish and is trying to get the Fuxing High School to make a public apology.

Wei Gang and his girlfriend, both senior students of the school at the time, suddenly found themselves in the spotlight on April 7 when the school broadcast a series of "irregular actions" captured on video, including the couple kissing.

Although the school tried amateurishly to cover the couple's faces, students instantly recognized them by their attire.

"Since then, we were often mocked by other students. Some lower-grade students would point at us outside our classroom," Wei said.

"They were always open about their feelings for each other, so it can't be recognized as privacy any more," said Tao Xinliang, the school's attorney.

While Si Weijiang, the couple's attorney, argued that the school had no right to broadcast the images because it infringed upon his clients' rights to privacy.

The school, on the other hand, says it regards the broadcasting as part of normal moral education.

"We just wanted to show that irregular actions exist on campus. The school has been cautious enough to cover all faces appearing in the short film. It wasn't aimed at anyone in particular," Tao said.

The court hasn't set a date for the verdict.

Si said that the case will set an example for how to protect people's privacy in China since few cases of such kind have been tried at court.

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