School teacher accused of molestation loses credentials
A high school teacher who was accused of forcibly kissing a female student before the girl committed suicide last week will have his credentials revoked, according to an announcement on Tuesday.
The girl, identified only as Li, was allegedly attacked by Wu Yonghou two years ago in Qingyang, Gansu province. On June 20, she jumped to her death from the eighth floor of a department store. She was 19 years old.
After an investigation, Wu was banned from teaching for life, a spokesman for the city's education bureau said on Tuesday.
In July, the bureau handed down administrative penalties and removed Wu from his teaching post at Qingyang No 6 High School after Li's father accused him of molesting the girl.
Video of Li's suicide, in which some onlookers could be heard cheering and applauding as she fell, was widely shared on Chinese social media.
Police investigating the tragedy have detained two people for applauding, while six others suspected of filming and cheering during the incident have been urged to turn themselves in, Qingyang's public security bureau said in a statement on Monday.
Videos of the incident shared online showed Li sitting on a ledge for hours while rescue workers tried to talk her out of jumping. Some passers-by on the street below heckled her, shouting, "How come you haven't jumped yet?"
When she jumped, some people clapped while a rescue worker screamed in distress.
Li's father has said his daughter was severely depressed over an assault by Wu in September 2016. Wu had tried to kiss and hug the girl, according to the police statement.
On the day of the alleged assault, Li complained of a stomachache and was told by the school nurse to rest in a dormitory. When Wu came in to check on her, he suddenly began kissing her face, lips and forehead, the statement said.
After the incident, the father said Li attempted suicide four times. She first took drugs in October and December 2016 and then prepared to jump off a building the following May before being saved by a firefighter. In January she tried again by taking large amounts of anti-depression drugs, the statement said.
Li and her father reported the alleged incident to police in February 2017. The police sent Wu to a detention house for 10 days in May for molestation.
Li's father felt the punishment was too lenient and appealed to prosecutors in his district to intervene. After reviewing the case in March, prosecutors decided not to press charges against Wu.
According to a statement from the authorities, Wu denied the allegation and said he had touched the girl's forehead with his mouth in order to "take her temperature".
Li's parents were offered 350,000 yuan in compensation by the school, but the money was declined, the father told Beijing Youth Daily on Monday, because a settlement would have required withdrawing charges against the teacher.
"We could not sign that humiliating agreement," the newspaper quoted him as saying.