Kids at Beijing kindergarten molested, jabbed with needles, fed pills
People across China have reacted with anger and revulsion to allegations of widespread child abuse at an upmarket private kindergarten located in a central district of Beijing.
Reports of children being molested, jabbed with needles, coaxed into having sleeping pills and forced to stand naked in a dark room at RYB Education New World nursery, listed on the New York Stock Exchange, triggered online rage and protests by parents outside the school. People have demanded a swift, decisive response from authorities.
The children targeted were between two and six years old.
Following the reports, Beijing authorities launched a city-wide inspection of schools.
“We will thoroughly investigate any incident and punish those involved regardless of where the incident takes place…We are committed to preventing child abuse cases from happening,” the Beijing Municipal Education Commission said in a statement on Friday.
“Furious parents have protested outside the kindergarten demanding a response from the head of the kindergarten and that they are allowed to watch surveillance videos,” state-run Global Times tabloid reported.
“Audio and video recordings, in which children claimed they were forced to take pills to sleep and given physical examinations by some ‘uncle and grandpa doctors’, with one allegedly being naked, went viral Thursday, sparking public outrage,” the report added.
A group of parents told Caixin magazine that teachers at the facility had given the children “white tablets and brown syrup”. The parents said they don't know what the tablets and syrup contained.
“Disobedient students were also forced to stand naked or were locked up in a dark room at the kindergarten,” one parent told the magazine.
According to Caixin, this isn’t the first time that one of RYB Education’s pre-schools has been at the centre of child abuse allegations.
“Four teachers at a RYB kindergarten in Siping in the northeastern province of Jilin were jailed for 30-34 months in October last year over ‘mistreatment of students’, after needle marks were found on some students in November 2015,” it reported.
On Friday, RYB Education is said to have provided documents and surveillance footage to police while the teachers allegedly involved in the abuse were suspended.
“The company also told police it has been falsely accused and framed by some people. The company added it would apply a zero tolerance policy on those who violate professional ethics,” the Global Times reported. According to the tabloid, the company founded in 1998 has more than 1,300 daycare centres and nearly 500 kindergartens in 300 cities across China.