A kindergarten in Zhengzhou, Henan province was shut down after images showing students kneeling on the cement floor during meal time went viral on Chinese social media, leading to netizens accusing the administrators of abuse.
The local education authority confirmed the closure of Xiaolongren Kindergarten yesterday, adding that the school’s principal, surnamed Li, will issue an apology to all of the students’ parents. Children at the school will be assigned to other local kindergartens.
Li came under fire for his initial response to the images, which he said had been set-up and circulated online by a former employee “out of spite”, according to Xinhua.
“I think that (the former teacher) told the pupils to kneel before taking the photos,” he said.
The online community hit back at his response, saying he was shirking responsibilities.
The former employee who uploaded the photos, hit back at the principal’s comments and said the images were not taken out of “revenge” as “other reasons” had informed her decision to leave her job. She told the Henan Business Daily, that the pictures were taken on different days, proof that kneeling was common practice.
This is hardly the first time a Chinese kindergarten has dealt with scandal in the past year. The Ministry of Education and the National Health and Family Planning Commission ramped up inspection of kindergartens across China last year after a string of negative reports. Last May, a Beijing kindergarten teacher was videotaped aggressively kicking and shoving her students, triggering nationwide outrage. A month before, two kindergarten students died and several more were hospitalized after they ate rat poison at their Yunnan school. A week before that, a kindergarten in Shaanxi was shut down for administering antiviral drugs that were making children ill.
A Liaoning middle school was also criticized last year for making students stand up during lunch time so that they would “eat faster”.
[Images via wj001.com]