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Education officials investigated for negligence in Beijing kindergarten needle case

(Global Times)    08:19, November 30, 2017

Education officials investigated for negligence in kindergarten needle case

A Beijing district's education officials are being investigated for negligence after police detained a kindergarten teacher for allegedly disciplining children by piercing them with needles, reports said Wednesday.

Chaoyang district discipline inspection commission approved an investigation into the district education commission chief Xiao Wen, deputy Fu Lin and private-school overseer Han Bin for their failure to monitor private educational organizations, according to qianlong.com, a news portal affiliated with the municipality's Communist Party committee.

The US-listed company accused of operating the kindergarten issued, then withdrew, a public apology on Wednesday after a 22-year-old teacher was detained by district police.

"We feel sad and ashamed," RYB Education group posted in Chinese on the Chinese mainland social media Sina Weibo on Wednesday. "Sorry! Our deepest apologies go out to the children and everyone. We have no right to beg for your forgiveness, and we will take meaningful action."

The post was still deleted as of press time.

The apology came as police announced two parents were also detained and reprimanded for circulating false rumors that children were sexually abused at the RYB Education New World kindergarten in Beijing's Chaoyang district.

Other RYB kindergartens are also under investigation, according to the deleted RYB apology. Police are also investigating reports of teachers hurting children with needles at an RYB kindergarten in the Hebei Province city of Cangzhou, The Beijing News reported.

Hao Junbo, a lawyer at Beijing-based Hao Law Firm told the Global Times that his law firm's US partner Pomerantz LLP has filed suit against RYB Education at the US District Court for the Southern District of New York. The court accepted the case Tuesday.

"We represent shareholders purchasing RYB securities resulting in losses of over $100,000 and so far we have two Beijing-based shareholders as plaintiffs," Hao said. Hao is looking for more shareholders for a class action, he said.

The suit would probably be settled out of court based on previous cases, Hai believed.

The State Council on November 24 called for nationwide inspections of kindergartens.

The RYB statement listed five promises: to take full responsibility for the case, adopt zero tolerance for child abuse, cooperate with the government, parents and society to protect the safety and legal interests of children and faculty members, upgrade its surveillance system and establish a joint education system with parents so as to increase transparency.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Liang Jun, Bianji)

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