BEIJING – Chinese police said they had not found any evidence of sexual abuse at a Beijing kindergarten which is under investigation over allegations of child maltreatment, but acknowledged that one of the teachers had used sewing needles to punish some of the pupils, state news agency Xinhua reported on Wednesday.
Several parents complained last week that their children were potentially being abused after they found marks on their bodies and reported the preschoolers were being given unidentified pills.
The initial results of the police investigation showed that a female teacher, surnamed Liu, 22, who was detained over the weekend, allegedly used sewing needles to discipline children who would not sleep.
The inquiry found no evidence of sexual abuse after one of the girls was examined by a doctor at her parents’ request, and after investigators reviewed 113 hours footage from surveillance cameras.
The police did admit that the footage was partially damaged and not complete after being repeatedly switched off by a camera operator after classes were over due to the noise the monitor made.
In response to the allegations of unidentified pills being administered, the police said drugs were only given to students with the prior knowledge and permission of the parents.
The Chinese government has announced an inspection of kindergartens nationwide to assess the conduct of teachers and caretakers.
It is not the first time that a kindergarten from the RYB group, which comprises more than 1,800 kindergartens in China, has been accused of child abuse.
In 2015, four teachers in the northeastern province of Jilin were sentenced to nearly two years in prison for physically abusing some of their students.