Bereaved Parents Question Quake School Safety

Outrage centers on public buildings that survived
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted May 23, 2008 1:33 PM CDT
A picture of student killed in last week's earthquake is seen during a memorial service at a primary school in Mianzhu, in China's southwest Sichuan province Friday May 23, 2008.   (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – Nearly 7,000 schools were destroyed in the Chinese earthquake, and parents want answers. In particular, they want to know why so many nearby government buildings survived while schoolchildren died, the Washington Post reports. “This building is totally a ‘bad tofu’ project,” said one grieving mother. “We feel it is wrong for kids to die this way.”

Government officials acknowledge there may be a problem and have launched an investigation. One minister said the government “cannot rule out the possibility that there may have been shoddy work and inferior materials during the construction" of some schools. That’s cold comfort to the parents holding vigil around the schools, many of whom have lost their only child.