Jilin to ban schools from giving pupils medicine without parental consent

Draft law comes after a number of kindergarten drug scandals in recent months

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 31 July, 2014, 5:14pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 31 July, 2014, 5:32pm

The authorities in the northeastern Jilin province are planning to ban kindergartens from giving pupils medicine without their parents’ permission.

The draft law was reviewed at a provincial congress meeting on Monday, the New Culture Newspaper reported on Thursday.

If passed, Jilin would follow in the steps of eastern Anhui province, which is the first province to impose such a law on schools.

The proposed regulation makes it illegal for preschool educational institutions to administer medicine to their pupils without their parents or guardians’ express consent. It also prohibits schools from giving pupils medicine not approved by the local administration.

Those who flout the law, if passed, will be banned from continuing their work and kindergarten licences will be revoked under serious circumstances. Violators could also face criminal charges, the report said.

Relevant county-level departments, such as the Educational Administrative Department and the Food and Drug Administration, will be responsible for meting out the punishment.

The proposed law comes on the back of a number of kindergarten drug scandals reported in recent months.

In March, Xinhua reported about a Jilin kindergarten that allegedly gave the anti-flu drug moroxydine hydrochloride to its pupils.

Teachers allegedly told the children that the white pills were “smart beans” and warned them not to tell their parents. Those who spat out the pills instead of swallowing them were punished.

Parents claimed their children suffered symptoms including nose bleeds, stomach aches, itching and even kidney problems after they took the drug, the report said.

Teachers apparently adopted the practice to ensure their pupils’ attendance because it was closely linked to their performance appraisals and hence bonuses, it was reported.

In Shaanxi, also in March, two kindergartens were exposed for having given an antiviral drug – without parental consent – to hundreds of pupils over five years.

That same month, a Hubei nursery was found to have illegally fed prescription drugs to its pupils and a Lanzhou kindergarten was discovered to have been administering children with the antiviral drug ribavarin since November.