In a kindergarten classroom, a female teacher lifted a boy off the ground by his ears. The boy was screaming in tears and the teacher was smiling with excitement. The teacher asked her co-worker to take a picture of her “fun” and happily shared the picture with her students’ parents because it was so interesting. This picture now is the No. 1 hot topic on the Top Trending List on Sina Weibo, China’s most popular microblogging service. Needless to say, netizens are outrageous.
The picture was first posted by netizen 将讲090080, who appeared to be a newly registered member of Sina Weibo. The account only has a few pictures and they are all about the same abusive teacher. The picture soon went viral and not long after, outrageous netizens called for human flesh search (human flesh search is a kind of crowd-sourced search by netizens to dig out detailed facts about a certain event).
The woman in the picture was found out to be Yan Yanhong, born in 1992. She is the teacher of Class 2 at Blue Phoenix Kindergarten in Wen Liang, Zhejiang province. Most surprisingly, some netizen who successfully tracked down her QQ (China’s most popular IM tool) found more than 700 pictures of child abuse in her Qzone (similar to Myspace).
As of now, Yan has already been fired. Apparently, she was an unlicensed teacher. The kindergarten said she got the job through guan xi without having any necessary certificates required for a kindergarten teacher. During an interview, she told journalists that all abuses were simply for fun. The last news report said that Yan is under custody now and may face some jail time.
Journalist: “You pulled up the boy’s ears because he misbehaved or something?”
Yan: “No, he didn’t do anything. I often play with him like this. We are good.”
Journalist: “ Didn’t you notice that he was crying?”
Yan: “It was really quick. All I wanted was to take a picture. I put him down immediately after the picture was taken.”
Journalist: “Was the boy one of the naughtiest in the class?”
Yan: “No, he wasn’t. I just thought he was funny. I was just horsing around him.”
Journalist: “When was the picture taken? Who took it for you?”
Yan: “About a month ago. To take this picture, I asked help from co-worker Tong Qing. She didn’t approve my action at the first. I told her that it was just for fun and it would take just a second.”
Journalist: “Why did you show the picture to parents?”
Yan: “I thought the picture was very interesting. When I talked with a parent via QQ a few days ago, I couldn’t help but share this picture. I didn’t expect such big reactions from the parents.”
It seems that Yan didn’t mean to abuse, she is just stupid. But it only makes the case a even more unfortunate story – when kindergarten teachers know nothing about love and caring and when they don’t see abuses as abuses but merely some careless fun.
This is not the first child abuse case this year in China. Thanks to the popularity of camera-ready cell phones, more abusive teachers have been exposed. Just this week, another unlicensed kindergarten teacher called Li Zhuqing was caught on surveillance video slapping children in her class. The video showed her slapping three children in a math class, including a 5-year-old girl who was struck almost 70 times in the matter of 30 minutes. The Blue Sky Mengtesouli Kindergarten involved in the case was already forced to close by local authorities.
Though Yan from the most recent case has already been detained by local police, it’s hard to decide punishment because child abuse isn’t an official crime in China. There is no law or regulation on child abuse.
Part of the reason of the rising child abuse at kindergartens is the lack of public sources in China. It’s not news that it’s extremely hard to find a spot in a reputable public kindergarten in China’s big cities. Children are many but kindergartens are few. It gives rise to a lot of private kindergartens that put money ahead of children education.