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Wikinews recently caught up with Ashley Jenkins, a teacher who lives in Texas. Early this year, Jenkins was briefly working in China for the large English teaching company, Giraffe English. Upon returning to Texas, Jenkins drew the attention of local media. Jenkins was in China just as the COVID-19 scare was beginning to unfold there. According to sources, she ran into some trouble returning to the US. Jenkins alleged the trouble pertained mostly to events surrounding a male coworker. A number of private individuals in the US assisted in her ultimate return to Texas.

Jenkins, an English teacher, had done several long stints in Asia, working various assignments. Jenkins stated she was in China roughly between January 12th — February 20th. She stated this assignment was, " a weird time. It was just before Chinese New Year, so I did very little teaching, but helped with a few demos which are [marketing events] designed to inform parents of Chinese children on how the school [operates]." Shortly after her arrival in China, though, the COVID-19 event struck. Jenkins further explained, "Then coronavirus hit. I was stuck in my apartment." Using her laptop computer, Jenkins did have a small amount of contact with her parents and boyfriend, all of whom were in the US.

When asked about other Americans in close proximity, Jenkins stated that other than her alleged assailant/coworker, "...there were no Americans, no English speakers." Jenkins elaborated, alleging that the man, an American from California, beat her numerous times. She stated he destroyed her cell phone by throwing it into a toilet. Jenkins stated her only outside link was her laptop and the wifi included at her company-sponsored apartment. Jenkins stated she had to plea with neighbors to even borrow a phone. She stated, "I couldn't take public transportation. The American government didn't care. They kept saying, 'Come to Shanghai', but I couldn't get to the US Embassy there." Jenkins stated her Chinese boss wouldn't send her help and furthermore accused her of lying about the assaults she'd experienced, alleging she'd injured herself. Jenkins said, "I had bruises on my back, all over my arms and legs. I can't make bruises appear on my back."

Jenkins attempted to reach out to local police. She stated they came to her apartment twice, but none of the officers spoke English. She stated they only spoke with her for a moment, then spoke with a neighbor and, "...quickly left [the building]." Jenkins stated, "It took me 3 times to even give a police statement. I had bruises from head to toe. My boss didn't believe me. She said, 'I need video.' I told her, 'He took my phone. I don't have video.'" Jenkins further explained that her boss, "...was not happy. I managed to get to a local police station where they did take my written statement and did a little bit of investigating, but my boss was not happy about that." Jenkins stated several times that her alleged assailant was, "...working in China illegally." Jenkins went on to say, "You can get in trouble there for employing an American illegally. I could have been homeless. I could have been on the street. The wifi in that apartment and my laptop, that was my only link to the outside world." Jenkins also stated she ultimately had to retract her police statement, "...or the company would've kicked [her] out of [the] apartment."

Jenkins reiterated that much of this happened in the early part of the Coronavirus scare in China. She also stated that upon her return to Texas, a number of people said, "...some very ugly things [about her] on social media." Jenkins was not quarantined and Texas health officials directed her to self monitor for potential symptoms. Jenkins stated she feels well and is thrilled to be back in Texas.

The popular employer review site, Glassdoor, listed 3 reviews for Giraffe English. Two of the reviews were relatively positive, while one former employee described the company as having, "...weird management [styles]" and being quick to blame teachers for classroom problems.

Martin Steven, a man who taught for Giraffe English for a time, published an essay at the site His comments about his experience teaching in China were largely positive. An email sent Friday morning to Giraffe English was not returned by 3:30PM Texas time the same day.


This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.

  • I reached out on Feb. 25th....she has briefly responded. Interview with her is pending. --Bddpaux (talk) 01:54, 27 February 2020 (UTC)
  • I am currently in contact with this lady.....please keep this fresh for now. --Bddpaux (talk) 19:16, 13 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Nevermind....this isn't going to happen. Delete. --Bddpaux (talk) 22:19, 13 March 2020 (UTC)



...nevermind my NEVERMIND!! we spoke by phone just shortly after I'd given up!! Took loads of notes! --2600:1700:79D2:D950:7917:32D4:82BE:19F0 (talk) 16:09, 14 March 2020 (UTC)

The above was me! --Bddpaux (talk) 19:02, 14 March 2020 (UTC)
  • It appears Giraffe English is a fairly large company in China. I'm having a hard time, though, finding an email address for them. Apparently, they are heavily franchised and spread out all over the country. --Bddpaux (talk) 16:17, 14 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Just to clarify: I did my interview with her around 5:35pm (local time, Texas) on Friday March 13th. --Bddpaux (talk) 16:56, 20 March 2020 (UTC)



I took a LOAD of notes on this interview, but I don't feel good do a question/answer style article, as I might've missed a couple of words and I'm a stickler about NOT misquoting people. --Bddpaux (talk) 19:01, 14 March 2020 (UTC)

Her assignments: "Several places in Asia: Thailand, Hong Kong, China." --Bddpaux (talk) Stated there were a number of people on social media who questioned the veracity of her claims, which added to her stress. --Bddpaux (talk) 19:11, 14 March 2020 (UTC)

  • I will try to wrap this one up within the next 24 hours. Then I will have to submerge again. --Bddpaux (talk) 21:35, 19 March 2020 (UTC)
  • working hard on it right now. Just posted the company's main site AND I reached out to their 'Careers' recruiting email to see if someone in Operations could contact me. --Bddpaux (talk) 16:53, 20 March 2020 (UTC)
  • She stated she arrived in country on Jan. 12th and left there to return home to Texas on Feb. 20th. --Bddpaux (talk) 17:34, 20 March 2020 (UTC)
  • The apartment she lived in was company-provided, and had company-sponsored wifi service. --Bddpaux (talk) 20:19, 20 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Her male coworker was reportedly from California. He later contacted US media sources (using a reportedly false name) denying her account of her assault, alleging she was "frequently drunk [while in China]and things like that." She states she did not touch alcohol at all during her assignment there. --Bddpaux (talk) 20:22, 20 March 2020 (UTC)
  • There were no English speakers near her, other than her co-worker.--Bddpaux (talk) 21:45, 20 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Due to having no passport/visa, she could not use public transportation and could not travel to the US Embassy. --Bddpaux (talk) 21:49, 20 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Shortly after her arrival, much of the Coronavirus stuff starting showing up in news reports there. --Bddpaux (talk) 15:47, 21 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Her pleas on social media garnered the attention of several Americans (who helped with a plane ticket, Visa arrangements, etc. Honestly, I wish I'd dug into that part a wee bit more.) --Bddpaux (talk) 15:49, 21 March 2020 (UTC)
  • She arrived just before the start of the Chinese New Year, so really did very little teaching...(a huge holiday in China); helped with a couple of demos, which she described as sales/marketing type events that school do in public places for parents to attend....sort of a 'show' of English speaking. --Bddpaux (talk) 15:51, 21 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Stated during interview (re: just after she arrived): " "Then coronavirus hit. I was stuck in my apartment." Her only real lifeline was her laptop. States she did have a small amount of contact with her parents/boyfriend, all of whom were in the US. --Bddpaux (talk) 15:53, 21 March 2020 (UTC)
  • I asked several different times about other Americans, Brits...anyone she could've spoken with locally for help. She stated there were, " Americans, no English speakers other than the [one] male co-worker."--Bddpaux (talk) 16:04, 21 March 2020 (UTC)
  • She had to beg neighbors for a phone just to call police. They came (on two separate occassions), spoke very briefly with her then with a neighbor. "The first time, they did that, then went downstairs. I thought they were just interviewing other neighbors....but, no. I went down there and they had left. They just left the building. They hardly spoke to me. They didn't speak English." --Bddpaux (talk) 16:06, 21 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Regarding the alleged attack, "My boss didn't believe me. She said, 'I need video.'" --Bddpaux (talk) 16:13, 21 March 2020 (UTC)
  • She told her boss, "I don't have video. He took my phone." --Bddpaux (talk) 16:14, 21 March 2020 (UTC)
  • States: "That guy was working in China illegally." Also: "You can get in trouble there for employing an American illegally. I could have been homeless. I could have been on the street. The wifi in that apartment and my laptop, that was my only link to the outside world." Also: "I had to retract my police statement or the company would've kicked me out of that apartment. I could've been on the street. I could've been homeless."--Bddpaux (talk) 16:17, 21 March 2020 (UTC)



@Bddpaux: Some of the wording, I can see, needs some work to achieve neutrality. Beware of subjective assertions (attribute them), and purple prose (tone it down or occasionally, when applicable, attribute it). This sort of thing might be easier for you to redress than for a reviewer; whatever you could do to help would be appreciated.

I hesitate to even ask for a shorter lede, as clearly this is tricky material to deal with. The lede is rather long and detailed though. --Pi zero (talk) 20:58, 20 March 2020 (UTC)

Will try to address these issues. --Bddpaux (talk) 21:15, 20 March 2020 (UTC)
I think I'm going to try to bring out (more assertively) her initial statements to media and her early stuff pertaining to the virus outbreak. --Bddpaux (talk) 21:17, 20 March 2020 (UTC)
  • There are 4 stories here: An American saw firsthand what was happening in China as the Coronavirus stuff started landing; an American woman alleges that an American man assaulted and robbed her in China, while they were working there together; her boss did not believe her and the police under responded; she had a hard time getting back to Texas and some Americans were very helpful in that regard. On a lesser end: a bunch of Americans said nasty things about her following her return, both questioning the veracity of her claims and also largely about her walking about in public. I tried to stay focused. I wish (in hindsight) I'd asked more questions about the people who helped her get home. I think this interview is an important contribution to the project. --Bddpaux (talk) 21:55, 20 March 2020 (UTC)
@Bddpaux: Because this is weighty stuff, it seems to call for pretty solid documentation. Notes here on the talk page feel a bit casual for the purpose, by themselves. I don't see anything about it on scoop, and the email I received directly was quite specific, not general documentation. Could you provide, well, something more substantial either to scoop or (if you feel that's not private enough for this purpose) by direct email? --Pi zero (talk) 22:38, 20 March 2020 (UTC)
Yes, indeed. I think I can just add it to the talk page. --Bddpaux (talk) 15:45, 21 March 2020 (UTC)
Sent you an additional email. I think I've covered everything as well as I can. The other media sources cover a few bits also. --Bddpaux (talk) 16:18, 21 March 2020 (UTC)

Review of revision 4557387 [Not ready]

...and I think that is precisely what I will try to do. Maybe a montage of Americans' potential experiences/perspectives.....but I will HAVE TO focus on keeping it current and neutral. There is a smidge of what she and I spoke about that I could maybe fold into that. --Bddpaux (talk) 19:51, 7 April 2020 (UTC)
So, at the moment, here is my plan: I am moving 100% of this over to a sandbox. I think I could scoop a bit out of this and pour it into another article. I have a bad case of pandemic brain going right now, so my concentration is $hi^!!! So: delete this article. --Bddpaux (talk) 20:18, 8 April 2020 (UTC)

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{{Copyvio|then paste in suspicious link

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