Yesterday, June 7, China Daily reported that a teacher from the US at a Shanghai international school is in custody on suspicion of sexually assaulting at least seven children. This news comes as more media attention in China is devoted sexual assaults in schools, including Beijing’s Neil Robinson case, which should be leading to increased monitoring of teachers, foreign and domestic alike.
The teacher in Shanghai is reported to have worked at the French School, Lycee Francais de Shanghai. Though many details have not been released, the man is reported to be a 32-year-old man from the US who was originally detained on May 13 of this year. Apparently, five months prior, a former teacher at the school was extradited to his native US on similar charges, though there is no reported link between the two incidents.
It’s not only international schools facing problems with school faculty and sexual abuse; the LA Times reports that over the past three weeks, nine cases of sexual abuse have surfaced in China. This includes a case in Hainan province, where the principal and a housing authority official allegedly took six girls, age 11 to 13, to KTV, got them drunk, and spent a night in a hotel with them. In Anhui province, a principal was arrested on suspicion of molesting nine girls. A teacher at a different school in the same province is also accused of raping a 7-year-old student.
Until recently, sexual abuse was not a topic widely reported on in the Chinese media, but the recent cases have attracted a lot of attention from domestic and international media. The news of arrests in these cases have spurred Chinese activists, including Ye Haiyan, to protest sexual abuse in schools. Chinese officials, instead of addressing the problem directly, have largely chosen the traditional path of obfuscation.
Photo courtesy Wikimedia commons author strngwrldfrwl from Japan