An American teacher at a top French school in Shanghai has reportedly been detained by authorities on suspicions of sexually assaulting at least seven students.

The alleged abuse by a male teacher at the Lycee Francais de Shanghai came to light after families filed formal accusations against him, claiming he raped and sexually abused children of both genders, the AFP reports.

The teacher was arrested last month, and Chinese police have launched an investigation.

"As parents we are devastated," one mother told AFP, declining to reveal her identity for privacy concerns.

A notice sent to parents referred to “sexual assaults,” but the school has not provided additional details.

The U.S. Consulate in Shanghai has declined comment.

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