A court in central China said on Friday a Chinese kindergarten teacher who had poisoned 25 of her students, killing one, has been executed.
A notice posted outside the No. 1 Intermediate Court in the Henan province city of Jiaozuo said Wang Yun’s sentence had been carried out on Thursday.
Wang, 40, was convicted of putting toxic sodium nitrite in porridge served to children at Mengmeng Pre-school Education on March 27, 2019, following an argument with a colleague identified only by the surname Sun over “student management.” While other students recovered fairly quickly, one student, identified only by the surname Wang, died from multiple organ failure after 10 months of treatment, the notice said.
A high-school dropout, Wang had previously poisoned her husband with the same substance bought online two years ago. He survived with mild injuries.
While Wang’s motivation was presented as revenge, it wasn’t clear if she had intended to kill or merely sicken her husband and the students. She was initially sentenced to nine months in prison for deliberate harm, but the sentence was later converted to death. The court rejected Wang’s appeal. She was taken to an execution ground and put to death.
China is believed to execute more prisoners each year than the rest of the world combined, although the actual figure is a state secret. Most sentences are carried out with a bullet to the back of the head, although lethal injection using mobile units has been employed in some cases.
Attacks on young students have become a disturbing trend in China in recent years, most carried out by knife-wielding assailants described as mentally disturbed or bearing grudges against individuals or society. Private gun ownership is illegal in China, so knives and homemade explosives are primarily used in such attacks.
On Monday, a man with a knife killed six people and wounded one at a kindergarten in southeastern China.
A 25-year-old man was arrested following the 7:40 a.m. attack in Lianjiang, a city in Guangdong province. A news outlet, Dafeng News, cited an unidentified witness as saying the attacker’s child had been struck earlier by a car belonging to one of the people killed at the school. It also said one of the people killed was a teacher at the kindergarten, but other details were unclear.
The attacks have continued despite increased security presence at schools being ordered after some 20 children were killed in 2010.
In 2020, a school guard was accused of injuring 39 people with a knife.
The violent crime rate in China’s tightly controlled society remains relatively low, but some social scientists have blamed school attacks on the deficiencies of the health system in diagnosing and treating mental illness.
With the formerly roaring economy slowing considerably, professional burnout and other economic factors are also beginning to come into play.
With a plunging birthrate and declining population, attacks on school children also take on an added weight, possibly accounting for the court’s decision to sentence Wang to death.