A photo showing a kindergarten teacher, Yan Yanhong, holding a screaming child off the ground by his ears has sparked widespread condemnation after it was posted online to China's popular microblogging site Sina Weibo.
The photo shows the poor little boy crying in pain while the teacher proudly spots a big smile on the face.
According to the Daily Mail, a total of 702 photos of Yan Yanhong's classroom in Wenling, Zhejian Province, show children subjected to various forms of cruel and humiliating punishment.
A young child is shown with his mouth sealed with adhesive tape and hands taped together. A photo shows a child with a bucket over his head. Other photos show children forced to assume humiliating or painful positions as punishment (see photo below).
Australia's ABC reports Yanhong says the students were punished for talking too much or for being disobedient.
Ms. Yanhong exposed herself by sending the images to a friend.
According to the Daily Mail, Yanhong revealed a sadistic streak when she defended criticism of her action in the photo in which she lifts a boy off the ground by the ears, saying: "I see him as a good friend, and just made fun with him. I just wanted to take a picture, and after taking the picture, I instantly put him down."
Yan Yanhong holds child up by ears
According to ABC, the head of Radio Australia's Chinese service, Jason Fang, said the photo has sparked public outrage after it was posted to the Chinese microblogging site, Sina Weibo.
Child undergoing punishment in Yanhong's classroom
Fang said: "You can see this child is in shock, in pain and she did this with a laugh and she asked a colleague of hers to take a photograph of it [and] she dared to put this on Weibo. People picked it up and they were saying, 'Wow, how can you do something like that?'"
According to China.org, a statement issued by the publicity office of the Wenling municipal government said that Yanhong has been detained on suspicion of "provoking a disturbance," and the teacher, Tong, who took the pictures has been put under administrative detention.
Child with lips and hands taped
The school where the incident happened, the Blue Peacock Kindergarten, has been ordered to correct the malpractices.
According to the statement,"Whether the kindergarten stays open or not will depend on how the rectification goes."
Education authorities have also ordered the school to apologize to all the parents of the students in the class in which the incident took place. Psychologists have been called to counsel the children.
Yan Yanhong, a streak of sadism?
Outrage continues spreading on Sina Weibo after the pictures were posted online and according to ABC, posts about the incident have reached nearly 4 million.
Chen Yuhang of Wenling wrote on Sina Weibo: "What a beast! Have you no conscience? Don't you think you will have a child someday? Don't you think your child will also go to kindergarten? The photos were so heartbreaking." He said: "I don't think the cases are unique. We should reflect on these tragedies and education authorities should do something to avoid similar incidents from happening again."
Yanhong's actions violate the Chinese law that says teachers are not allowed to administer corporal punishment. Some critics have suggested that teachers should be given compulsory legal and ethical training.
The photos of Yanhong's classroom emerged after a Chinese teacher was caught on video abusing her young pupils by slapping and kicking them repeatedly. The shocking video showed the female teacher slapping four children at a kindergarten in the Yingze District of the capital Taiyuan, north Shanxi Province, Digital Journal reports.
According to Global Times, the abuses in the Chinese preschool educational system are due partly to the fact that it is not part of the country's compulsory education system and thus the schools suffers public neglect.