Chinese police say that teachers abused kindergarten students



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A 22-year-old teacher surnamed Liu at RYB Xintiandi, a private daycare center in Beijing, was detained on Saturday for allegedly abusing students, Beijing police said in a statement. Chinese police often do not provide full names of suspects.

Police also announced the arrest of another woman for "rumors", accusing her of publishing online fabricated information about the involvement of military personnel in the incident, which caused an unusual denial by the Ministry of Defense in a press release on Friday.

RYB Education, the Beijing-New York-based company that runs the kindergarten, apologized to the children, parents and the public in a statement issued on Saturday. He said he had fired both the detained teacher and the kindergarten director, while continuing his full cooperation with the authorities in the investigation.

"There was a serious breach of duty in our management," the statement said. "We must take responsibility, reflect deeply, and thoroughly investigate and rectify (our operations)."

The company promised to provide psychological counseling to victims, improve security measures at their facilities and establish an independent monitoring system. [19659006] The exterior of the RYB Education New World kindergarten in Beijing. "src-mini =" // cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/badets/171124221339-02-china-child-abuse-small-169.jpg "src-xsmall =" // cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext /dam/badets/171124221339-02-china-child-abuse-medium-plus-169.jpg "src-small =" https://cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/badets/171124221339-02-china- child-abuse-large-169.jpg "src-medium =" // cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/badets/171124221339-02-china-child-abuse-exlarge-169.jpg "src-large =" //cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/badets/171124221339-02-china-child-abuse-super-169.jpg "src-full16x9 =" // cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/badets/171124221339 -02-china-child-abuse-full-169.jpg "src-mini1x1 =" // cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/badets/171124221339-02-china-child-abuse-small-11.jpg " data-demand-load = "not-loaded" data-eq-pts = "mini: 0, xsmall: 221, small: 308, medium: 461, large: 781" />

Public protest

But the latest developments seem to have failed to stifle intense national debates about the incident, which has sparked public outrage, deep parental badysis, government promises and online censorship.

The story broke last week after numerous parents accused RYB Xintiandi of drugging and molesting their children.

According to a father, in a video posted on Weibo, the Twitter equivalent of China, at least eight parents told police that their young children had been drugged and molested while attending school.

The video was seen millions of times before being removed from Weibo.

Parents claim that children were drugged and abused in kindergarten

The unidentified mother told reporters on November 23 that her 3-year-old daughter said that a teacher injected her with brown liquid and she is stripped naked with other children before being "examined" by a naked adult man.

She said that she and other parents allegedly found multiple needle marks on the bodies of their children, adding that kindergarten and police did not allow them to review videos from the school's surveillance cameras.

"My son said that the teacher told them it was a secret and that they should not tell anyone else, not even the parents," said the mother. "Now it explodes into screams at night, saying:" I'm not sick, why do I have to get shot? "

Beijing police have conducted forensic tests and obtained images from the kindergarten surveillance camera, according to the state news agency Xinhua.

Company criticized

RYB Education saw its stock price fall almost 40% on Friday on the New York Stock Exchange. The company announced a plan to buy back shares worth 50 million dollars in a call with investors on Friday, which provoked online criticism that put profits before public interests since it did not hold a press conference on the incident.

The company and its franchisees operate in approximately 300 Chinese cities and around 1,300 day care centers and 500 kindergartens.

In an earlier statement, published on Friday, RYB Education said it had provided the relevant video and surveillance equipment to the police, adding: "Before a clear conclusion can be drawn, our priority is to help students and their parents emotionally, and try to minimize the impact of the incident on children. "

That statement also says that the head of the nursery had filed a police report alleging "false". accusations and being framed by certain individuals "- without specifying who.

As more details emerged, the government hastened to respond to the incident, both the Ministry of National Education and the municipal education authority in Beijing have pledged cooperation with the police and quick investigations on their own, with local officials sending a team to kindergarten.

CNN sought a direct response from the company and local education officials on Sunday, but those calls were not answered. of contacting the kindergarten and local education officials at the site were frustrated by the security guards, who said no one would make additional comments beyond the previously issued statements.

  People leave kindergarten RYB Education New World in Beijing on November 24, 2017.

Anger on social networks

On Friday, the RYB Xintiandi campus was relatively quiet, with some parents and onlookers gathered outside the door where a copy of the corporate statement was published.

A grandfather, who had just picked up his granddaughter but declined to be named, told CNN that the 4-year-old girl mentioned that her clbadmates were forced to take white pills for disobedience and that everyone was told I kept it a secret.

Another neighborhood resident who identified himself as Mr. Liu said that kindergarten is the best in the area and costs up to 5,000 yuan ($ 750) a month for bilingual students. He said he was furious when he heard the news, but still believes those were isolated cases based on what he had learned about the school of a relative whose son went there.

However, many Internet users have continued to angrily reject RYB's response as "inappropriate" and have called for severe punishment for those responsible.

Past incidents involving RYB daycare centers included two cases in northeastern China, where four RYB teachers were each sentenced to more than two years in prison for abusing 17 children. [19659002] In the midst of growing public protest over the scandal, Chinese government censors seem to have moved to contain the consequences. Many users have complained about the disappearance of their publications on the subject in social networks. Comment sections are off for many online news reports on this story.

Even one of the most influential news executives in a state media outlet questioned the wisdom of such heavy-handed tactics on Weibo before his position was removed. [19659002] "Authorities should be cautious about removing publications," Hu Xijin, editor-in-chief of the Global Times, a popular nationalist tabloid, wrote on Thursday as news about the scandal began to spread online. "They should only go to publications that maliciously extend the issue to the policy, to avoid that the removal arouses more suspicion."

Parents share tips

In Chinese cyberspace, parents of young children have begun to share tips on detecting and preventing such cases, some copied directly from school literature in the United States .

Earlier this month, videos of teachers in a Shanghai kindergarten physically attacked children and force-fed them what appeared to be mustard went viral.

Shanghai police quickly detained several employees at the facility, while the municipal government women's affairs agency, with which it is affiliated, had to apologize to parents and the public.

Critics have said the laws are too vague and lax in cases of child abuse and badual abuse.

The media in China have documented an increasing number of incidents of abuse in child care facilities, often in small towns and villages. In a lengthy research article published last year, Xinhua said that only 968 cases of child badual abuse were recorded across the country between 2013 and 2015, involving at least 1,790 children, and many remain unreported.

Serenitie Wang of CNN contributed report.

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