School officials in Vietnam suspended a 14-year old girl from school for one year after the teen posted a message on Facebook regarding the famed revolutionary leader Ho Chi Minh. Authorities deemed the social media message insulting and offensive.
The country's state-controlled media revealed on Tuesday that the girl's post included language from a famous speech by Ho Chi Minh in 1946 concerning the Vietnamese people's resistance against French colonialists.
The post, "Declaration of Students of Ly Tu Trong Secondary School," parodies the 1946 speech given by Minh, as the teenager joked that students would not have to take tests again if they stood up against the teachers as if they were French colonists.
"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," said the post, quoted by the Thanh Nien newspaper.
"All students... have to find ways to get good marks in the exam... those who have neither health or head (intellect) have to copy or use cheat sheets," she continued.
But local publication Phap Luat Viet Nam explained that officials in Quang Nam province were not in the joking mood as they claimed the teenager had deliberately "distorted history and seriously insulted teachers" with her comments in the post.
"Forcing her to stay at home is also a way of educating her," Nguyen Tan Siwas, one of the schools teachers, told the Thanh Nien newspaper.
In the short time since news of the suspension broke, there has been a steady wave of criticism from internet citizens who feel that the current punishment was too harsh for a harmless joke.
An unofficial survey conducted by the VNExpress website found that nearly 70 percent of respondents felt the punishment was not right.
Ho Chi Minh is still honored in the communist country with his face appearing on banknotes and in pictures throughout the country. The current communist regime does not provide freedom of speech.