Hebei child abuse scandal still being questioned
Teacher accused of pricking pupils with pins and forcing them drink urine
A row between parents and a large private kindergarten in Hebei province which last month found itself at the centre of a major child abuse scandal, continues amid new reports of mistreatment, the Southern Metropolis Daily reported on Tuesday.
A 19-year-old female teacher at Yanjiao Youyou Kindergarten in Sanhe city, is being accused of pricking students with pins, forcing them to eat mucus, frightening them with a knife and locking them in dark rooms.
In March, two five-year-old boys told their parents that the teacher, surnamed Zhang, asked them to “urinate in soda bottles and forced misbehaving pupils to drink them”, the Beijing Morning Post reported.
One of the parents of the children, surnamed Zhao, said she had been contacted by an official at the town's residential committee who said to her: “It’s all about money right? How much do you want in compensation? State a figure... and don’t tell me this isn’t about money.”
Both Zhang and the kindergarten denied claims of child abuse and said all the reports were "based on conjecture" by the parents.
Sanhe city deputy secretary for education Wang Jiehong released a statement saying the kindergarten would have to comply with a police investigation to ensure all the facts were credible. He also said Zhang would be suspended during the investigation. Reporters who visited the school later, however, said Zhang was still working there.
Parents criticised education officials and the police for “deliberately protecting” the kindergarten and slammed the school for being unco-operative. They said school officials had refused to give up CCTV surveillance footage to police.
In an interview with a local radio station last month, a police station chief said “no other evidence had appeared to prove Zhang harmed the children”.