Watch: Kindergarten teacher ‘kicking and beating’ Beijing toddlers
Footage showing a kindergarten teacher kicking and shoving her students was unveiled today in a microblog post by state news service Xinhua.
The 27-year-old teacher, surnamed Liu, was seen barking orders to the three- to four-year-old children and forcing them to file into the classroom in a straight line with almost military precision, and kicking them when they disobeyed.
“Slack. No discipline. I cannot handle you at all!” she was heard saying in a video uploaded by news outlet China Views and linked by Xinhua.
“Go home. Let your mum discipline you,” she said before kicking a few of the students.
She also grabbed a little boy’s collar when he placed his chair in the wrong place.
Liu, who was reportedly sacked, had been working for the private Wisdom Kindergarten along Qingyuan Road, Chaoyang district, in Beijing for two years. She was described as "responsible" and had given a "good impression", according to the school.
The school’s principal has been sacked, the China Views report said. Outside the school, the parents have strung a red banner demanding justice, as the case is just one of a series of alarming kindergarten abuse incidents on the mainland in recent years.
The angry parents are also demanding that the education department take over the kindergarten's management.
A little before 10am on April 25, Liu was captured on camera making the 21 children go into a restroom, grabbing two boys who tried to run away.
The corner of the restroom was not visible to the camera, but parents have said the children screamed for five minutes as Liu kicked them in the head, calves and back.
“Last Saturday, a child cried out in pain while the parent was putting on his trousers. That’s how we found out about the issue,” a parent surnamed Zhang was quoted by China Views as saying.
He said the parents decided to complain after finding out that the children had suspicious bruises or seemed frightened and unhappy.
However, scrutiny has also turned to other teachers who saw the abuse but did nothing to stop it. Parents questioned why this was not reported to the school authorities earlier.
Throughout the clips, a woman in a pink shirt was seen tidying up the hallway and supplies in the classroom as Liu berated and kicked her students. Another woman in a grey shirt was seen passing by as Liu and the children were in the restroom.
A school official told China Views that three teachers were assigned to every classroom: a head teacher, assistant and nursery worker. Liu was the head teacher for the class.
Liu had admitted that the abuse in her classroom began in April last year.
One parent said that when Liu saw the security footage, she showed remorse. "After watching the video, she screamed, 'I can't believe I did this!' … She didn't admit [it] in the first place. [She] said she just pushed and shoved them."
Last month, a kindergarten in Lanzhou in Gansu province was found to have given pupils antiviral medicine without their parents' knowledge in order to keep them healthy and boost attendance.
After similar incidents emerged, the Ministry of Education and the National Health and Family Planning Commission ordered a nationwide inspection of schools.
With additional reporting from Kiera Lu Huang