China’s parents ramp up sex education after kindergarten abuse scandal

Photo Credit: Zhang Tao / China Daily
In China, talking about sex is taboo, and many parents have been traditionally reluctant to teach their children much — if anything — about sex.
That may be changing.
After a scandal and alleged sexual abuse at one of the nation’s best-known kindergartens — listed on the New York Stock Exchange and with branches all over China — books on sex education for children are being swept off bookstore shelves like perhaps never before.  Droves of parents are signing up for online classes about how to educate their children about sex.
Now, many parents feel a need to speak to their children about sexual abuse, and how to avoid sexual assault, as well safety precautions to observe while surfing the Internet, in order to avoid online predators. Parents now want to educate their children on what is appropriate behavior from adults, and what is not — such as touching private areas, etc.
This comes after a string of highly publicized cases of child abuse at schools nationwide, the latest and perhaps most disturbing being last month’s scandal involving the Beijing’s Red Yellow Blue Kindergarten school.
 According to media reports, children were given sleeping pills and allegedly had unnecessary health checkups, all of which sparked a maelstrom of online rage. Parents at a branch of the nationally-known kindergarten in eastern Beijing said they found needle marks on their children, and one parent said her child told a story of a naked adult man doing a “health check” on naked child. One parent told media that teachers told her child to keep quiet about the abuse, telling the child that the teachers had a “very long telescope” and could see the child everywhere, even at home. Police said a medical examination confirmed that children were indeed jabbed with needles. One teacher was later arrested, for allegedly pricking children with needles to discipline them.
This may be the tip of the iceberg, as many cases of alleged child abuse in kindergartens have recently come to light in China.
Recently, a video was released that depicted a kindergarten teacher in  Zhejiang province slapping a little girl and dragging a little boy by his neck. In another video from a child care center in Shanghai, a little girl was forced to eat a substance that her parents later said was wasabi. In November, teachers at a camp in southeast China, which is meant to cure kids of video game addiction, were accused of locking children in cells and whipping them with cables.

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