Local government punishes related officials after kindergarten inspects children on gang crimes

By Xu Keyue and Wang Qi Source:Global Times Published: 2019/5/28 22:50:30

The local government of Wuxi, East China's Jiangsu Province on Thursday dismissed several officials for formalism acts on fighting gang crimes after a photo showing a kindergarten requesting its teachers to inspect children for their possible involvement in gang crimes sparked questions online.

The announcement published by the Xishan district government on Sina Weibo said officials from the district education bureau requested the kindergarten to report if children were involved in gang crimes, which “misunderstood the policies of the anti-gang campaign, and poorly handled the work and was an act of formalism.”

The announcement came after a photo of "an investigation report of Wuxi Xinguang kindergarten special campaign against gang crimes" went viral on Chinese social media platforms on Tuesday. The report said through an investigation toward 35 children in a class, the teacher did not find any child involving in gang crimes.

Chinese experts highlighted the problems of lazy administration and formalism in lower-level official communities.

It has quickly made a splash online with many Chinese netizens questioning that the move was over-reacted and a hypercorrection. 

An official from the Dongting sub district, which administrates the school, confirmed with the Global Times on Tuesday that the district has launched a campaign against gang crimes recently but the inspection in schools aims to crack down school bullying.

The publicity department of Wuxi government told the Chongqing-based Shangyou News on Tuesday that the kindergarten conveyed the message in a wrong way. 

According to local education bureau's announcement, the campaign intends to inspect whether school bullying exists so as to solve the problem in time. 

"The kindergarten conveyed the message to its teachers in a wrong way and it has been requested to apologize to parents and make rectification," the department said. 

The report by the Shangyou News was deleted from its WeChat official account as of press time. 

"The move was a typical formalism approach," Su Wei, a professor at the Party School of the Communist Party of China Chongqing Municipal Committee, told the Global Times on Tuesday.

In China, some lower-level officials were found to follow government policies mechanically, while some only issued the notice without making specific moves, Su said, stressing that the situation should be seriously dealt with.  

To crack down on school bullying is a necessary part of the anti-gang campaign, and schools should properly popularize the campaign and teach students how to avoid bullying, Su noted.

Governments at all levels in China have made huge efforts to push forward the campaign. The anti-gang office in Beijing released on Tuesday a reporting platform which allows residents to log into the platform to quickly report the clues of gangs whenever and wherever by scanning a special QR code or through government official account on WeChat and Weibo.

A total of 3,021 officials had been punished in 10 provincial-level regions during China's first-round inspection of a national crackdown on gang crimes as of December 2018, according to the Ministry of Justice. The second phase of the campaign in 21 provincial-level administrations across the country started in early April and lasted until early May.

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