Chinese boy suffocated at ‘rebellious children’ boot camp
Student, 13, died at military-style training school after he was restrained by two members of staff who have been detained by police, newspaper reports
Two members of staff at a military-style training school treating “rebellious children” in eastern China have been detained after a teenage boy suffocated to death, according to a newspaper report.
The staff were detained by police on Tuesday after the 13-year-old boy died during a row at the Shandong Yabo Education Training School in Jinan, Shandong province, the Beijing Youth Daily reported.
The members of staff, whose full names were not given, were “subduing” the boy after an argument broke out on Monday about the “management of students”, police were quoted as saying.
The local authorities had already ordered the school to suspend its operation before the incident as they found it was involved in illegal internet addiction treatment, police said.
No details were given of how the child died, but a former student at the school told the Beijing Youth Daily it was common for teaching staff to beat students and cover their mouths with wet towels to suffocate them.
Calls made to the school by the South China Morning Post on Friday were unanswered.
The school promotes itself on its website as a comprehensive education institution qualified to counsel “rebellious children” and train “problematic youth”.
The boarding school recruits students aged between 10 to 28 with problems ranging from “aggressive tendencies” to suffering from depression, according to the website.
It charged 5,600 yuan (US$890) to 6,800 yuan a month for students and the training lasts for six months at least, it said.
The 23-year-old former student who spoke of abuse at the school told the Beijing newspaper that his parents let its staff forcibly take him from his home in January 2016 and he was not allowed to contact his family during his training.
He was let out after six months because his parents could no longer afford the tuition fees, according to the report.
Gaming and internet addiction camps have spread across China despite many fatal incidents.
In the most recent reported case, an 18-year-old died from multiple injuries at an internet addiction treatment camp in Anhui province last August.
The Chinese government released a draft law in January last year to ban electric shock, coercion and other physical punishment to “treat” teenagers’ internet addiction.
The legislation is now undergoing public consultation.