Suspended For Facebook Post: Vietnam Student Kicked Out Of School For Parody Post

Hanoi, Vietnam — Suspended for a Facebook post? That’s precisely what happened to one eighth-grade student in Vietnam, who was suspended from school for one year after she posted a parody of a speech by revolutionary leader Ho Chi Minh on the social media site.

In the same week that an activist in Kuwait was imprisoned for insulting his nation’s leader on Twitter, Thanh Nien News reports how 14-year-old Nguyen Thanh Vy was suspended from her school in Hanoi for a Facebook post. School principal Nguyen Tan Si said the post, made in December, “had criticized the first term exam and insulted the teachers.”

Vietnam’s state-controlled media reported on Tuesday that Vy’s post had borrowed a portion from a famous speech by Ho Chi Minh in 1946 appealing for resistance against French colonialists. Minh’s original speech read:

“All students! As we desire peace, we have made concessions. But the more concessions we make, the more the teachers press on, for they are bent on failing us once again. No, we would rather sacrifice all than be dismissed. Never shall we have to take the exam again. We have to stand up!”

Meanwhile, Vy’s parody post read:

“All students, whether boy or girl, good or stupid, tall or short have to find ways to get good marks in the exam. Those who have health will use their health, those who have heads will use their heads. Those who have neither health or head have to copy or use cheat sheets.”

A local official in Quang Nam province told Phap Luat Viet Nam that the student was suspended for her Facebook post because she had “distorted history and seriously insulted teachers.”

Speaking to Thanh Nien News, Vy’s father Nguyen Duy Van said his daughter had been shocked by the school’s action was shocked by the dismissal:

“She is young and her thinking is immature. We are afraid it would traumatize her mind and jeopardize her future.”