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Who are responsible for parachute kids in the US? [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2016-4-27 10:38:07 |Display all floors
Many Chinese parents would—and continue to—send their children to the United States in or before high school so their kids would have a better chance of getting into an American college. But who are responsible for the parachute kids, the families, the parents, or the kids themselves?

In an interview conducted by the New York Times,  Zhang Fan, 52, father of Zhang Xinlei, discussed the problems that Chinese students face in the United States.

On Feb. 17, Zhang Xinlei was sentenced to six years in prison on charges of kidnapping and assault for his role in an attack on a schoolmate. According to court hearings, Zhang Xinlei, Zhai Yunyao and Yang Yuhan were among a group of Chinese students who kidnapped and assaulted Liu Yiran on March 30 in Rowland Heights, an unincorporated community in Los Angeles County. They stripped her, burned her with cigarettes, cut off her hair and made her eat it. A judge in the case compared it to “Lord of the Flies.” Ms. Zhai was sentenced to 13 years, and Ms. Yang to 10.

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Post time 2016-4-27 10:40:50 |Display all floors
Q. What advice would you give to Chinese parents who want to send their children abroad?

A. They should learn American law. We didn’t understand American law, and we lost the case.

Q. How is Zhang Xinlei doing in prison?

A. He’s doing well. He phones me every other day. He gets along well with people, whether Hispanic or black. So it’s unlikely he’ll get bullied there. And he’s really fit and healthy.
His English has improved a lot. He already knew lots of words but found it hard to speak. But now he’s in prison, and there are no other Chinese there. So he’s improved really quickly.

Q. Lots of Chinese parents send their children to study abroad, often at a young age. Why did you decide to send Zhang Xinlei?

A. In 2012, a classmate of his was going to the United States. They’re good friends, and his mother asked whether we were interested in sending Zhang Xinlei there. I asked him, and he said he wanted to go. We didn’t know much about this. The agent told us that it was a good school and that children could pick up good English once they got to the United States. We believed that the United States offers better education than China, where kids are put under too much pressure. So we just did what everyone else was doing.

Q. After news of the assault broke, lots of people in China criticized these students on social media. What did you think of that?

A. Lots of people in China have used horrible words to criticize them. But no one cares what the real problems are. They just say the kids are bad. No one tries to look for reasons. Nor does the American government.
Many of them are not actually fuerdai [second-generation rich], as many say. They’re just from middle-class families, who have some money but not enough to buy houses there [in the United States]. Neither are they well enough connected to have friends looking after their kids. If they were fuerdai, life would be a lot easier.

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Post time 2016-4-27 10:51:04 |Display all floors
Q. What was Zhang Xinlei like when he was in China?

A. He did quite well in primary school. But once he entered high school, he became interested in computer games and didn’t do so well. At 14 or 15, boys are difficult.
He is a soft person, like me, and in some ways a bit weak. He does whatever people ask him to do. I think the biggest mistake he made was to get involved with Zhai Yunyao. He did everything she said and couldn’t leave the scene.

Q. Why did those good kids back in China commit such a crime in the United States?

A. Chinese like to stick together. Because their English isn’t good enough, they find it hard to mix with American peers. Since there are so many of them there, why bother speaking English? They hang out together, eat together, sing karaoke together and drink together. Then they get into fights.
I think an attack like this would have happened sooner or later. Zhai Yunyao attacked Liu Yiran last year and a month before the March assault. You leave those kids out there on their own, and problems like this happen.

Q. Zhang Xinlei first attended a Christian school. Is your family Christian?
A. Not really. We thought Christian schools would be more responsible.

Q. What was Zhang Xinlei’s life like in the United States?
A. I think he was pretty lonely. There were lots of difficult times he didn’t want to discuss with us. Sometimes he did. Usually when he wanted money.
His English wasn’t good. But as soon as he got into school, he had to study the Bible and other subjects in English. He just couldn’t understand. Then, after school, he’d go home to a host family he couldn’t communicate with. He played computer games a lot. After he was arrested, I went to the United States and talked with his classmates. They all said Zhang Xinlei was the best computer game player at the school.

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Post time 2016-4-27 11:02:18 |Display all floors

I know that parents are responsible for the consequences of these actions. However, the school should shoulder its responsibilty too,  for taking big profits from enrolling foreign students while leaving them alone. It costs about 50,000 dollars a year for the parents to send their kids in the US. What the school should do is to provide better support for these students—not just in the classroom but also outside of the classroom, from improving their English proficiency to ensuring they have guidance from trusted individuals, including teachers or school counselors.

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Post time 2016-4-27 19:36:37 |Display all floors
it's a free country and looks like they have to live on their own ..

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Post time 2016-4-27 19:48:44 |Display all floors
I blame the family unit

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Post time 2016-4-27 20:07:37 |Display all floors
dusty1 Post time: 2016-4-27 19:48
I blame the family unit

I agree with you. Don't you think it's interesting how they're pushing the responsibility onto the school? Like how they also like to put responsibility on the government rather than on individuals. They think the school or the government should solve everything for the people. It's a theme that's been repeated many times by the Chinese on this forum.

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