A seven-year-old Chinese girl allegedly died at the hands of bullies less than two days after being sent to a prominent martial arts school by her parents to lose some weight.
Upon a neighbor’s recommendation, the family paid 10,000 yuan ($1,500) for a six-month course at the famous Shaoshan Shaolin Temple Martial Arts School so that she could exercise, as she was having difficulty walking at her weight of over 110 lbs.
According to the girl’s parents, bullies at the school in Dengfeng, Henan province ganged up on their daughter and beat her to death.
They further claimed that the victim, identified as Deng Qi, was “healthy and happy” when she was dropped off by her father, Deng Chaohai, at the full boarding school on her first day on April 7.
The terrible news came by phone two days later, when the school notified them that their daughter had been taken to a hospital, Beijing News reports.
As Deng Chaohai was rushing to the ER, the father received another call telling him that doctors had pronounced his daughter dead.
It was earlier reported that a group of students carried the girl to the school nurse after she collapsed at the top of some stairs near the activity grounds.
However, security camera footage obtained by the father purportedly showed the girl being surrounded by several uniformed pupils.
The father, who claimed the other students were punching and kicking his daughter, told reporters: “The camera was very far away from our daughter, but it looked like someone had pushed her over, kicked her and punched her.”
“Her face was purple and there was bruising on her stomach,” he added.
The martial arts school has denied the father’s allegations, insisting that Deng Qi had “passed out while playing.”
In a statement to the local press, the school’s director, surnamed Chen, dubbed other theories surrounding the death as “libelous rumors.”
Denying that the young girl had any physical altercations with any of her classmates, the school further stressed that there is “no evidence” to prove that Deng Qi had, in fact, been beaten to death.
The case is still under investigation by the Dengfeng Public Security Bureau.
Featured image via YouTube/新京报