Mr. Yu’s daughter had died in a cascade of concrete and bricks, one
of at least 240 students at a high school here who lost their lives in
the May 12 earthquake.
Mr. Yu became a leader of grieving parents demanding to know if the
school, like so many others, had crumbled because of poor construction.
contract had been thrust in Mr. Yu’s face during a long police
interrogation the day before. In exchange for his silence and for
affirming that the ruling Communist Party “mobilized society to help
us,” he would get a cash payment and a pension.
…Officials have come knocking on parents’ doors day and night. They
are so intent on getting parents to comply that in one case, a mayor
offered to pay the airfare of a mother who left the province so she
could return to sign the contract, the mother said.
amounts vary by school but are roughly the same. Parents in Hanwang, a
river town at the foot of mist-shrouded mountains, said they were being
offered the equivalent of $8,800 in cash and a per-parent pension of
Here is the full story.