Around 70 primary school students in Luoyang, China were recently involved in a controversial drill that involved submerging their heads in washbasins and buckets full of water to experience drowning.
The Qianzhizhuang Primary School in Henan Province is located near a river where children often play to cool off during the summer, so, apparently, school officials thought it would be a good idea to let the kids find out what it’s like to be drowning in a safe and controlled environment, rather than risking it happening for real with no one to rescue them.
Recently revealed photos shot during the unusual school drill show children lined up in rows with their heads above washbasins full of water and instructors giving them the go ahead. Although some children can be seen smiling, news sites in China report that most of them actually found the experience very upsetting.
A spokesperson for the Qianzhizhuang school told reporters that the institution hopes this kind of exercise will give pupils a better understanding of the risks of playing near water and discourage them from going into the river alone. Even after completing the traumatizing anti-drowning drill, children were apparently also asked to sign a contract promising not to play in the river without proper supervision.