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Taipei school personnel to be punished in alleged child abuse case

TAIPEI -- The Taipei City's Department of Education said Friday that it will punish relevant school personnel after an 8-year-old girl who was supposed to have enrolled at the school but failed to do so died of suspected abuse by her mother.

The girl, who was found dead two weeks ago, was discovered to be significantly smaller than children of her age, standing only 90 cm tall and weighing 8 kg.

Although she was required to enroll into Hulu Elementary School in the city's Shilin District in 2012, her parents never sent her there. The school has been blamed for failing to report the situation to the authorities.

Early intervention could probably have prevented the tragedy if the case had been reported, according to Chen Shun-ho, chief secretary of the city's Department of Education.

School Principal Chi Lu-jen said the school will assume administrative responsibility and that all responsible personnel, including herself, will be punished.

An investigation reveals that the girl, who originally lived in Shilin, moved to Zhongshan District with her mother in July 2012.

The victim was rushed to Mackay Memorial Hospital April 20 without a heartbeat or other vital signs, the hospital said.

The hospital suspected that the girl, who was abnormally small, had been starved to death and reported the case to police.

According to growth charts released by the Ministry of Health and Welfare, the average weight of 8-year-old girls in Taiwan is 25 kg and the average height is 125 cm.

However, the dead child's family said she was born prematurely and suffered from developmental delay.

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