Just as one kindergarten abuse scandal is drawing to a controversial close in Beijing, another has been exposed in nearby Hebei province — this time with surveillance camera footage intact.
On Monday, parents of children attending a kindergarten in Hebei’s Yanshan county filed a complaint after viewing surveillance camera footage from inside the school which showed a female teacher abusing kids.
In one clip, the teacher is seen pricking a child with a toothpick before spanking him on the buttocks. In another, she makes a kid slap himself in the face. A parent who watched the surveillance tape also describes how the teacher punished a child for not sleeping during naptime by making him stand up for more than an hour.
A Beijing News report about the scandal carries photos of the scratches and bruises inflicted on the children by the teacher.
In another clip, the teacher is seen dropping to her knees and shrieking “I was wrong!” after being surrounded by angry parents.
The kindergarten is now under investigation by police and has been closed in the meantime.
Of course, this case follows shortly after an explosive scandal at a private Beijing kindergarten which caught the whole country’s attention, becoming the most discussed (and most censored) topic on Chinese social media over the past week.
On Tuesday, police issued a statement declaring that parents had made up salacious stories about the kindergarten drugging and sexually abusing kids, but confirmed that one of the teachers had been punishing children by pricking them with sewing needles.
Not long before all that, surveillance video from inside a Ctrip-affiliated daycare in Shanghai showing kids being shoved down and force-fed wasabi by a female worker also sparked nationwide outrage. In a widely circulated series of video clips, the woman (who was a janitor, not a teacher) is seen on a stage at the school desperately trying to apologize, kowtowing and crying, before parents vengefully force-feed her wasabi.
The fact is that incidences of child abuse at kindergartens happen with alarming frequency in China, but only seem to cause a real stir when they occur at expensive private kindergartens in major cities like Beijing and Shanghai. Similar scandals that take place out in the countryside are often simply overlooked or not even reported.