TALL walls, restricted entrance and police patrols, all strong security measurements to prevent school attackers, failed to protect seven girls, aged 6 and 7, from being sexually molested in a kindergarten in Shanghai.
A security guard, Han Baosi, 34, a cousin of one of the private kindergarten’s owners, has been detained by police.
The first attack is said to have taken place about a year ago. The guard is alleged to have entered classrooms while the children were taking their noon naps.
He was detained after some parents found injuries on their daughters and contacted the police last Thursday.
“What a horrible monster,” said a 32-year-old woman surnamed Tu, mother of a six-year-old girl who is in the same class at Tongxing Kindergarten in Minhang District as the girls who have been injured.
Tu said her daughter told her the guard once slipped into their classroom when the teacher was away, and undressed a six-year-old girl in front of the other children.
“Then the man exposed the poor girl’s genitals in front of all the boys and girls, laughing, and forcing them to watch,” said Tu.
The guard even took pictures and movies with his cellphone while he hugged the naked girls or put his fingers in their private parts, said Tu.
“My daughter cried to beg him to stop as that hurt, but he kept doing that and threatened her not to tell others, touching her body for one year,” one mother, who refused to give her name, told a television news program yesterday.
Parents said the guard had threatened their children that he would kill them or “cut out their tongues” if they said anything, which is why some children refused to say anything for a year, even when they were found to be bleeding.
Many parents said they were astonished to hear that the man detained was one of the security guards, a man they saw every day, “wearing a pleasant smile to welcome the children.”
“Every morning he would take my boy into the classroom, hand in hand,” said Yu Xianghong. “Now that’s a horrible scene to recall.”
However, a mother surnamed Fang told Shanghai Daily that she found the guard very unfriendly.
“He always said in public that women were useless and when we wanted to argue with him over the topic, he simply told us to shut up.”
The detention of Han stirred heated discussion among parents, mostly non-locals, who gathered to pick up their children yesterday.
Some parents are demanding compensation from the kindergarten’s owners, while some are taking their girls to hospitals for checks, as they still dared not talk about anything happening to them.
One of the kindergarten’s owners, Mao Baoling, said she apologized for all that had happened and said the kindergarten would strengthen the management of its staff.
But she refused to say whether Han was qualified as a security guard or had simply got the job because he was her husband’s cousin. Mao’s husband Han Baoyou is co-owner of the kindergarten.
“Security guards are not supposed to get into classrooms,” said Zhu Yue, deputy director of the Minhang District Education Bureau. “There was some problem of the kindergarten’s administration.”
Emergency meetings are planned for this afternoon to prevent such cases in future, Zhu said.
The kindergarten will continue to operate and support services will be offered to victims, Zhu said.
The kindergarten has six classes of more than 200 students. Its qualification is still in process but its operation was allowed for the sake of the children, Zhu said.
“We can’t just close the school, otherwise where would the kids go?”
Shang Hai Daily