An education bureau in Chengdu, Southwest China's Sichuan Province on Wednesday denied online reports that it had banned students from wearing face masks and stopped parents from installing air purifiers in classrooms.
"Schools will not encourage or ban the installation of air purifiers in classrooms," the education bureau of Jinjiang district said on its official Sina Weibo on Wednesday, in response to online reports that a school in the area took away air purifiers bought by parents.
"Parents of students from three classes in Qizhong Yucai School raised money to install air purifiers in the classrooms. But the air purifiers caused noise … and some students complained, so the school stored them in the teachers' offices," read the bureau's post.
The Jinjiang educational bureau also denied an online rumor that a foreign language school in the area had banned all of its students from wearing face masks.
Posts circulating online said that the Jiaxiang Foreign Languages School made an announcement Monday demanding students and faculty not to wear masks and trust the government's efforts to deal with the smog.
Although these claims were later denied by the news office of the Chengdu government on Monday, they have widely circulated on social media, with many Net users expressing deep concern about the city's smog problem.
Chengdu has been engulfed by heavy smog since December 3 when the local environmental protection bureau issued a third emergency warning on heavy pollution to strengthen controls on dust pollution and vehicle emissions. The city was declared to be clear of smog on Tuesday.
"Children are a priority in our society and taking good care of them is our shared goal. We respect and support parents' concerns and will listen to their advice. We are willing to work with the parents to build a healthy environment for our children," read the post by the Jinjiang's bureau.