A female primary school teacher in north-west China has been accused of beating a student’s private parts for stealing her lipstick, Chinese media reported.
The eight-year-old victim, surnamed Zhao, was found bleeding profusely by her grandmother on December 14 after the girl came home from school.
The first grader at Yangzhuang Primary School in Ningxian, Gansu province said the teacher hit her after she refused to admit she had stolen her lipstick, the girl’s relatives said.
However, the local education bureau on Tuesday released an official statement contradicting the relatives’ claims, saying it was Zhao’s two male classmates, aged six and seven, who had assaulted the girl during a fight.
The eight-year-old victim, surnamed Zhao, was found bleeding profusely by her grandmother on December 14 after the girl came home from school in north-west China’s Gansu province
Photos show bloody tissue paper scattered on the ground as her family members tried to stop the bleeding. The eight-year-old girl was treated for vaginal wall injuries in hospital
The latest case of child abuse to rock the nation first came to light when the girl’s uncle posted details of the incident on Chinese microblogging site Weibo on Sunday.
According to a photo of a medical report dated December 15, Zhao was treated for vaginal wall injuries at Xi’an Children’s Hospital in Shaanxi province. Other photos show bloody tissue paper scattered on the ground as her family members tried to stop the bleeding.
On the day of the incident, the teacher called Zhao’s grandmother to school and demanded her pay for the stolen lipstick worth several hundred yuan, according to Beijing Youth Daily.
However, the grandmother refused and left, saying the teacher had no evidence to prove that her granddaughter had taken the lipstick. The report said the teacher eventually found the lost lipstick in her office drawer.
After Zhao came home from school at about 4pm, her grandmother found her blood-soaked trousers and immediately took her to hospital.
The latest case of child abuse to rock the nation first came to light when the girl’s uncle posted details of the incident on Chinese microblogging site Weibo on Sunday
In the statement released by the Ningxian education bureau, Zhao’s injuries were caused by two boys, surnamed Ma and Zhao, who were upset with the girl. The statement said she had stolen an eraser from Ma and borrowed 1 yuan (£0.12) from Zhao without returning the money.
After pushing the girl to the ground, the two boys used a broom to poke her privates while beating her, according to the statement.
The school’s principal, Yang Derong, and vice-principal, Li Jihong, were both fired following investigations into the incident, the authority said, adding that the two boys will not be charged as children under the age of 14 cannot be held criminally responsible according to Chinese law.
The statement did not mention the female teacher or the stolen lipstick. The school had paid for the girl’s medical expense amounting to 13,464 yuan (£1,549).
The education authority admitted that the case ‘revealed weak links in school management and moral education for juveniles’. It ordered all primary and middle schools to look into management issues and remove risks.
After Zhao came home from school at about 4pm on December 14, her horrified grandmother found her blood-soaked trousers and immediately took her to hospital
The shocking case has rocked China as violence against children has been gaining wider public attention in recent years.
A Weibo page of the incident, titled ‘Eight-year-old girl from Gansu beaten in private parts’, gathered more than 130 million views, with many upset net users calling for a more thorough investigation into the accused teacher.
‘What use is there to fire the principal and vice-principal? The authorities should arrest and punish the teacher instead,’ one net user said.
‘The poor child, she does not deserve this! I doubt two young boys would be able to cause such serious injuries,’ another said.
‘It’s clear that the investigation is not transparent enough as there are so many contradicting accounts,’ another comment read.
State broadcaster CCTV posted a commentary on Tuesday criticising the investigation as the education authority’s statement of the incident was ‘nowhere similar to the relatives’ account’.
‘Since children under the age of 14 wouldn’t be criminally prosecuted, this raises concerns that they were being used as “tools” to abuse other children,’ the commentary read.
It called for authorities at the provincial level to thoroughly investigate the incident and publicise the results.