Collective Shock after Exposure of RYB Education Children’s Abuse

A day after a major abuse scandal at a Beijing branch of the Chinese preschool company RBY Education (红黄蓝幼儿园) has made headlines, many netizens are left so shocked by the news that they say they “cannot sleep.”

News of a group of parents accusing the Beijing RBY Education kindergarten of large-scale child abuse went trending like wildfire on Chinese social media on Thursday. The case, that is currently under investigating, is still shrouded in mystery, leaving many netizens yearning for trusted facts.

Earlier this week, some dozen parents united after suspecting something was terribly wrong at the Beijing RYB daycare. The parents, relying on their children’s stories and the marks found on their bodies, accuse the RBY (‘Red Blue Yellow’) daycare of drugging and molesting their children.

In a number of interviews and videos, different parents stated that their children told them they were fed white pills that “made them go to sleep”; that they found traces of injections on their children’s legs, buttocks, and arms; that children were subjected to naked “health checks” at the daycare; and that their children told them they were threatened not to tell their parents. Some parents also claimed they found traces of sexual abuse on their children.

Parents and reporters gathered at the kindergarten’s gates on Thursday, demanding the surveillance videos from the company’s classrooms. Although the footage was reportedly already confiscated by Chaoyang police, a spokesperson did state that three employees have been currently suspended.

Because of the case, that is still leaving so many questions unanswered while authorities are gathering evidence to determine the facts, many netizens say they cannot sleep. The topic is still a main trending topic on Weibo and a major item of discussion on WeChat and online forums in the early hours of Friday morning.

“We all know that society is not so light, but who knew it was so dark,” some people on an online forum say: “Besides what is out there in the media, there are so many things that remain under the radar. What can we do but just hope that these kids will grow up healthy and strong?”

“I am the mother of a one-year-old,” one commenter on Weibo said: “Since I saw this news this afternoon, my heart feels so heavy. I can’t imagine what those parents are going through right now. I just hope they can stand firm and be persistent.”

The story also triggered a lot of online anger because this is not the first abuse case at the RYB chain. Four employees of one other branch of the chain in Jilin province were sentenced to prison in October 2016 for child abuse. In light of this new case, news of this former court case once again made its rounds on Weibo.

“It’s all so dirty it just makes my hair stand on end,” some commenters say.

“In this case, I’ll support the death penalty,” a typical comment read.

Also read:
WeChat Essay: “The RYB Kindergarten ‘Piston Action’ Child Abuse Case” (Translation)

By Manya Koetse

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