Outrage Over Abuse at Daycare Center

      January 16, 2015 11:01

      A mother stages a protest near a daycare center accused of child abuse in Incheon on Thursday.

      CCTV footage showing a four-year-old girl being abused by her daycare center teacher has sparked a storm of outrage online.

      The incident came to light when the parents of the girl reported to police last week that she was beaten at the daycare center in Incheon. Police investigated the center and obtained the footage.

      The footage shows the little girl practically flying across the classroom after the teacher hit her in the face.

      Police arrested the teacher identified by her surname Yang (33), who also faces charges of repeatedly abusing other children.

      Yang appeared before police on Thursday and told reporters, "I want to get on my knees and beg for the children's forgiveness." But she denied abusing other children.

      Police, however, say they have credible accounts from three other children that she assaulted them. Police will interview more children before seeking an arrest warrant.

      The incident is the latest in a series of abuse cases at daycare centers that have raised calls for harsher punishment for offenders.

      Fueling the anger is the fact that owners of daycare centers have been resisting demands to install CCTVs at their facilities, arguing that this would infringe their privacy rights.

      A four-year-old girl flies across the classroom after her teacher hit her in the face at a daycare center in Incheon.

      Daycare centers or teachers can face up to a year's suspension or have their licenses revoked if found guilty of child abuse. But licenses are suspended only when a child suffers significant physical or mental shock, and most abusers are just suspended from work for a few months.

      In 2010, 100 cases of child abuse were reported at daycare centers, but there were 232 in 2013.

      Yet the Ministry of Health and Welfare and other authorities do not even have statistics how many carers had their licenses suspended or revoked. "This shows that authorities are not interested in dealing with the problem," one childcare expert said.

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