A Chinese dance school was under fire after state media reported it had arranged for its teenage students to work as bar girls in nightclubs, the
newspaper reported on Thursday.
Xinhua news agency earlier reported the Guilin Intermediate Vocational Dance School in the southeastern region of Guangxi sent 22 students to work in bars and nightclubs last month.
The students' parents, many of whom were from poverty-stricken areas, were told the performances would be at "well-regulated" venues, and they would be paid 750 yuan (95 dollars) a month, the newspaper said.
According to the report, a 16-year-old girl who had never had alcohol before said she was forced to drink eight glasses of wine and some of her classmates returned to the dormitory inebriated and tearful.
A 15-year-old girl said the girls were told to dress "in a mature way" and tell people they were already 19.
The report said each student earned 100 yuan per night, with half of it going to an agent, 25 yuan going to the school and the girls keeping the rest.
The school chairman reportedly argued he was doing his students a favor, as most of them were from poor families.
An official at Guilin city's education department told the newspaper all of the students had stopped working at the bars and returned to the school, and that it would deal with the case according to relevant rules and regulations.
The report drew fire from academics and lawyers.
"Organizing paid hostess services is against the law ... the school has shown its moral degeneracy," the China Daily quoted lawyer Qiu Baochang as saying.