No pills, no molesters, and no surveillance footage - SupChina

No pills, no molesters, and no surveillance footage

Beijing police issue final word on the RYB kindergarten scandal

Following the Beijing RYB kindergarten child abuse scandal that we covered yesterday, and the public’s growing rage triggered by the case, police in Beijing’s Chaoyang District, on November 28, released (in Chinese) the latest investigation result on its official Weibo account, saying that “no abuse was found based on all surveillance footage available,” and urging the public “to be more rational in receiving online information.”

Judging from online responses, the public remain suspicious — translated quotes from Chinese social media are included below without comment.

“At this point, I don’t know whom to believe.”

The Tuesday notice is the third one released by the Chaoyang police regarding the abuse case, and is by far the most informative one. In the previous two statements, the police said that a kindergarten teacher surnamed Liu had been arrested for her abusive behavior, and that an internet user, also surnamed Liu, had been detained for spreading false information that disturbed public order. However, the two notices failed to thoroughly address what really happened at the kindergarten, which only invited more skepticism.

In the latest announcement, the Chaoyang police cover almost every aspect of the scandal, in a attempt to settle the case and avoid further questions from the public. The notice first explained that the needle marks discovered on the kids’ bodies were all inflicted by the arrested teacher, Liu, who used needles to “instruct” the children who failed to follow her orders to sleep.

According to the notice, the kindergarten in trouble had 78 employees, and eight of them were male. In addition, it stated that under no circumstances could any of them spend time with kids individually and privately. For the kids who claimed to be physically abused, body inspections were conducted and nothing unusual was found.

“I suggest a round of applause for the hard drive that was supposed to store relevant surveillance footage. It got broken at the perfect time.”

Most of the surveillance footage inside the kindergarten was lost, the notice said, adding that the missing footage was due to multiple forced power shutdowns by the school’s warehouse keeper, Zhao, who felt the equipment was “too noisy.” The police said that based on 113 hours of footage restored from hard drives, no abuse was spotted.

On the subject of mysterious white pills, which many parents said their kids were forced to eat, the notice said that all the medicines at school were under close supervision. One parent admitted to the police that pills were “made up” after being questioned.

“Fabrication? Who on earth would make up a story, on the record, of their children being sexually molested?”

“If I need to take a guess, I’d say these parents were so bored with their harmonious families that they just wanted troubles in their lives. Does anyone think I make sense?”

Another parent also confessed that the story of “grandpa doctor” and “uncle doctor” checking kids’ bodies was fabricated. “She agreed to clarify the facts and deliver an open apology to the public,” the notice stated.

“In response to those who said these parents were paid to throw dirt on the kindergarten, they spent 5,000 yuan ($756) per month on the school. Apparently, they are not short of money.”

All the comments above are translated from this discussion thread.

Jiayun Feng

Jiayun was born in Shanghai, where she spent her first 20 years and earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism at Fudan University. Interested in writing for a global audience, she attended the NYU Graduate School of Journalism for its Global & Joint Program Studies, which allowed her to pursue a journalism career along with her interest in international relations. She has previously interned for Sixth Tone and Shanghai Daily.

One Comment

  1. jixiang Reply

    I don’t know what to believe either at this point. I would be cautious about just believing everything any of the parents say either, to be fair. These things can easily turn into mass hysteria, and it might be that an incident of a teacher pricking the children with needles was then turned into one of sexual molesting and the administering of unidentified pills by a few of the parents who were too ready to jump to conclusions based on the children’s confused recollections.

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