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Sexual abuse of children investigated at US-listed nursery in China

25 November 2017

A photo published on social media platform WeChat purports to show a child from RYB Education Kindergarten in Beijing with needle marks on his arm.

In the most recent case, pre-schoolers at RYB Education New World kindergarten in Chaoyang District of Beijing were reportedly pierced with needles and fed with unidentified pills.

The education chain was listed on the New York Stock Exchange back in September and had been doing rather well, something that is likely to change when the market opens back up after Thanksgiving break.

State television broadcast images of police and angry parents gathered outside the school in Beijing on Thursday, calling for answers.

Some said their children, as young as three, relayed accounts of a naked adult man conducting "medical check-ups", on students, who were also unclothed.

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Another child told his father he was given a white pill to go to sleep, the BBC reports. "If the kids were happy and healthy what parent would engage in such activity?" reads one comment with more than 120,000 likes and which also uses the Chinese idiom "the thief who cried thief" (恶人先告状).

The massive scandal has placed Chinese censors in a hard predicament as they confront a towering wave of outrage coming from middle-class parents concerned about the safety of their children, particularly in the wake of a similarly shocking child abuse scandal at a Shanghai daycare.

Per the South China Morning Post, cops have their hands on surveillance video.

"We are now working with the police to provide relevant surveillance materials and equipment; the teachers in question have been suspended and we are co-operating with the police investigation", it said. Other RYB sites-the company is involved with more than 250 facilities across China-and non-RYB child care centers have also faced abuse accusations.

"We deeply apologize for this matter which has brought severe disquiet to parents and society!" It promised to cooperate with police in a thorough investigation and vowed "zero tolerance" for abusive staff.

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The company also claimed that some of the accusations against their teachers were false.

This is at least the third time that an RYB kindergarten has been accused of child abuse. In 2015, two teachers were found guilty of physically abusing children at one of its kindergartens in the city of Siping in eastern China.

The allegations, coming just weeks after reports of abuse at a Shanghai day-care centre, prompted a wave of anger from parents nationwide and a swift government response.

In August, two teachers at a special needs school in Beijing were fired after they were captured on video allegedly mistreating children with autism.

The latest RYB allegations have touched a particular nerve.

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Sexual abuse of children investigated at US-listed nursery in China