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Oct 12, 2016

A Shandong school accused of abusing students has been told by provincial authorities to put a stop to its militaristic style of education.

Shandong’s provincial education department posted a Weibo microblog on Tuesday in which it said that an investigation had found the school illegally used corporal punishment. In accordance with the law, the statement said, the authorities had ordered the school to immediately cease its “military-style, completely closed-off educational training.”

The school was ordered to “appropriately deal with students currently enrolled,” and to properly handle the aftermath, rectify its illegal practices, and investigate the people responsible.

Located in provincial capital Jinan, in eastern China, the Shandong Science and Technology Defense College is a privately run institution that advertises itself as a government-certified internet addiction rehabilitation school. Graduates told Sixth Tone in earlier interviews that students are systematically abused and humiliated at the school, and that all kinds of “unruly” teenagers are enrolled there, often against their will.

The school became the center of media attention when a former student surrendered herself to police, who suspect her of killing her mother. According to online journal entries, the 16-year-old girl was in a relationship with another woman, and her parents had enrolled her at the school to “correct” her sexual orientation.

It is not clear whether the school will be allowed to remain open. Shandong’s education department could not immediately be reached for comment when contacted by Sixth Tone on Wednesday afternoon.

(Header image: A building of the Shandong Science and Technology Defense College seen through the perimeter fence, Jinan, Shandong province, Sept. 24, 2016. Yu Ning/VCG)