Authorities in China said on Friday (24 November) that they are investigating allegations of children being abused, molested, and injected and given mysterious white pills at a kindergarten in Beijing.
The nursery, which is a branch of the well-known RYB Education chain, said it "deeply apologises" for the matter that has caused "severe disquiet". They said they are cooperating with the investigation and have also suspended some teachers at the school.
The Beijing Municipal Commission of Education said it would also conduct a security check in other kindergartens in the Chinese capital.
The outraged parents gathered outside the school gates on Thursday to demand access to CCTV footage that might confirm the abuse.
"For two days my daughter has been crying: 'I'm not sick, so why give me shots?'" one mother told China Women's News, a party-run newspaper.
Another parent said that the children had been told to take two white tablets each day after lunch and the reason for that is unclear, The Guardian reported.
According to a parent, "We need clarification. As parents, we have the right to question the school, don't we? If it's fake, why is there so much information, so many videos?"
"Disobedient students were also forced to stand naked or were locked up in a dark room at the kindergarten," another parent told the magazine Caixin. "I am trembling with anger now," a parent was quoted as saying by the Beijing News.
RYB Education is listed on the New York stock exchange and describes itself as China's largest early childhood education service provider, with more than 4,400 staff. According to its website, 1,300 day-care centres and nearly 500 kindergartens operate in 300 Chinese cities, ABC News reports.
This is the second such case that has sparked an online outrage in China this month. Earlier, surveillance footage from a Shanghai day-care run by China's largest online travel company, Ctrip showed abuse at the day-care.
The video, which was uploaded by parents on the Chinese social media, showed teachers slapping a crying girl, pushing a child to the ground, and force-feeding substances, which were later confirmed to be wasabi.
"This is quite terrifying, especially because it is happening at a relatively expensive and well-known private institution," Zhang Yang, a mother in Beijing whose children didn't attend RYB schools said. "What if this is not an isolated incident and there are things like this happening everywhere?"