Child abuse allegations against an employee at a Beijing kindergarten run by RYB Education are the latest in a series episodes that have plagued the company, which is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
On Saturday, China Central Television disclosed details of a 2015 child abuse case that took place at an RYB kindergarten in Siping, Jilin province. That case involved 17 children and saw four teachers convicted of abusing the children.
"I was helping my son take a shower and was shocked to find red dots on his buttocks," a parent identified only as Fan told CCTV on Saturday.
"I asked what happened. He didn"t want to tell me at first, but he finally opened up and said his teacher poked him (with a sharp object) in front of his classmates," Wei said. "I was devastated to even imagine such a thing, so I immediately reported it to the police."
Other parents said they found red dots and marks on their children. Some said their children were having recurring nightmares.
A case was filed against teachers charged with abusing 17 children, who were examined by doctors who confirmed the marks on their bodies. The children"s families were represented in court by the lawyer Chen Yuwei.
"Doctors later confirmed those marks were caused by needles, screwdrivers, nails, and wood clippers," Chen told CCTV. The evidence was "comprehensive and overwhelming", he said, coming from the children, parents, and examination reports from the hospital and police.
In October 2016, the teachers Wang Lu and Sun Yanhua were sentenced to two and half years in prison, and their colleagues Wang Yujiao and Song Ruiqi each received sentences of two years and 10 months.
They filed for an appeal two months later, but it was denied after the court reviewed the evidence.
The civil procedures in the case concluded on Nov 17, and the families of each child will receive 30,000 yuan ($4,500) in compensation, Chen said.
Two of the children are receiving counseling, and some subsequently refused to go to kindergarten out of fear, he said, adding that two families were so distressed by the events that they left the city.
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