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China: Schools locked up for Migrant Children in suburb of Beijing

Posted by Author on March 3, 2010

Radio Free Asia, 2010-03-02 –

HONG KONG– The Year of the Tiger got off to a gloomy start for hundreds of children of migrant workers in the Chinese capital, as authorities locked the gates of their schools and warned the principals not to carry on teaching them.

“The village and township officials all came to the school,” said Principal Wang of Taoyuan School in an eastern suburb of Beijing, which is currently home to thousands of migrant workers from rural China.

“[Then] some security guards came and locked the school gates, then went away again,” said Wang, whose school lies in Cuigezhuang, one of a number of areas scheduled for demolition and redevelopment in Beijing’s eastern Chaoyang district.

Local residents said at least seven schools in the same area had been similarly affected, with students unable to resume class after the Lunar New Year holidays.

Authorities had already served the schools with notices that they should close by Feb. 28., and the gates of several schools were locked by officials early Monday morning.

“Nobody dares to open the schools,” Principal Wang said. “The local government has made it very clear that they have their own methods of dealing with it if we go ahead and open the school, including violence,” he said.

“There were more than 20 security guards who came to the school … It’s the same in Shanggao, Beigao, Shanggezhuang, and Cuigezhuang,” Wang said. “This is a unified plan of action.”

Authorities in Naixi village had also closed the Wende School there Monday, although the village wasn’t yet in an area scheduled for demolition. The school still had some time left to run on its rental lease, the school principal said……. (Radio Free Asia)

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