Last update: 16:46 | 19/05/2017
The public has expressed anger and worry after the head of Mai Dong Primary School in Hanoi confirmed that a young man had broken into the school and tried to harass two girls.
Parents worry about their children's safety at school
Rumours first spread after an internet user posted the photo of the man and warned that he had raped the pupils and might break into other schools in the area too.
On May 18, Bui Thi Thu Thanh, head of Mai Dong Primary School, admitted that a young man had broken into the school premises on May 16 and sexually harassed two girls but denied the rape rumour. She said the girls were able to escape before the man could do anything.
Thanh said the rumour had badly affected the school environment and the pupils and wanted police to address those spreading false information. However, many parents think the school tried to minimise the issue and were upset.
"I only know what happened via the internet. Now I'm worried sick even though my kids are at school. They are still small and don't know much about how to deal with bad people," said Nguyen Anh Hong in Hai Ba Trung District.
Hoang, another parent in Hanoi, said, "I couldn't believe what I heard. When there's smoke, there's fire so I'll transfer my children to another school if the rumour is true. But I'll wait for the police and see how the school deal with this."
A young man broke in and harassed pupils at the WC at Mai Dong Primary School
Ninh Thi Hong, vice chairwoman of Vietnam Association for Protection of Children's Rights, said it was already classified as sexual offence against children if they are touched inappropriately.
"The school should openly work with the authorities to find the culprit. They shouldn't try to hide the information from the public just because of school's achievements or reputation," Hong said.
Hong went on to say that the school must review their security and install more cameras to assure the pupils. Parents must talk more with their children and make them aware of such problems.
The police of Hoang Mai District said they were investigating the case and searching for the man.