Teacher Detained After Abuse Allegations at Beijing Kindergarten


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 Teacher Detained After Abuse Allegations at Beijing Kindergarten

People gathered outside the gates of RYB Kindergarten in the Xintiandi area of Beijing on Friday.

BEIJING — A kindergarten teacher suspected of abusing children was detained by the police in Chinas capital, state media reported on Saturday, as the city government tried to contain public fury over claims that children at the kindergarten had been fed pills, jabbed with needles and forced to strip.

The police said a 22-year-old woman who taught at the RYB Kindergarten in Xintiandi, a middle-class housing development in east Beijing, had “been placed in criminal detention on suspicion of mistreating persons in her care,” Xinhua, Chinas official news agency, reported. The police gave no further details on the woman, other than that her last name was Liu.

Teacher detained following claims of child #abuse at Beijing kindergarten. https://t.co/moBLliRktkpic.twitter.com/yutectPVDH

— China Plus News (@ChinaPlusNews) November 25, 2017

The announcement seemed to at least partly vindicate parents who in recent days have claimed that children at the kindergarten may have been abused. They said 3-year-olds in one class had described being fed pills that made them drowsy and given shots that left tiny marks on their skin, and some alleged that children were stripped.

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The allegations ignited a firestorm of public anger. Officials from the Beijing Municipal Education Commission suggested that Saturdays detention showed that the authorities were addressing the crisis.

After the police announced the detention, the commission said it “strongly condemns the actions of the person implicated in the case that gravely violated teaching morals.”

But Ms. Lius detention does not mean she has been formally arrested. Criminal detention allows the Chinese police to hold a suspect while they investigate allegations and consider charges, and the police said their investigation would continue.

The step may not be enough to quell the anger of the parents and their supporters, and some suggested in comments on social media that the young teacher would become a scapegoat for broader failings. The parents have said that their children described abuses by more than one teacher. The Chaoyang District government in Beijing, which covers the area where the facility operates, said the principal of the kindergarten had been dismissed, and other staff members may also be held accountable, depending on their findings.

[Video: 红黄蓝幼儿园家长专访:国际班学费5500 家长发现很多孩子身上有针眼,曾让两个男孩一个女孩全裸罚站,昨日有孩子在医院查出肛裂,原因不明……发现事情以后想把学校烧了。 Watch on YouTube.]

But city authorities have distanced themselves from the most chilling allegations made by parents: that children in the class may have been sexually assaulted by a predatory ring.

The Beijing police said on Saturday that they had also detained a woman who confessed to spreading rumors that a group of military officers had molested children at the kindergarten. A Chinese military officer vehemently denied the rumors on Friday.

The kindergarten under investigation is operated by RYB Education — the letters stand for red, yellow and blue — which listed on the New York Stock Exchange in September. The company runs 80 kindergartens across China and has franchise operators for 175 other facilities. On Friday, the companys stock price plummeted nearly 40 percent.

By: The New York Times

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