After a display that would not be appropriate to welcome back high school students, a kindergarten principal in the city of Shenzhen, China, has been dismissed from her post for deciding to welcome the children, aged 3 to 5, back to school from the holidays with a pole dancing display.
American journalist Michael Standaert, who is based in the southern city, has children that go to the Xinshahui kindergarten, and was horrified to learn that their welcome back “treat” had been offered up by a scantily clad woman and a pole. He took to Twitter to vent his frustrations at the situation, asking a valid question of his followers: “Who would think that this is a good idea?”
According to the Washington Post, some of the male students were laughing and flicking their hair about at each other in imitation of the dancer, while the girls seem frozen solid in shock. Some parents tried to usher their children away from the vulgar display.
The local education authority issued an apology after a short investigation into the incident, and according to the Evening Standard, the principal has been dismissed. Shenzhen Baoan District Education Bureau stated that the bureau “believes that it is not appropriate to perform pole dancing for children in kindergartens.”
Who would think this is a good idea? We're trying to pull the kids out of the school and get our tuition back. They wouldn't give us the number of the company that owns the school, but looking into that. pic.twitter.com/vEdIhuq774
— Michael Standaert (@mstandaert) September 3, 2018
Standaert shared a 10-second video clip of the pole dance to his Twitter account, in which the young woman can be seen spinning around on the pole in a pair of black booty shorts, crop top, and a pair of platform high heels. He added that he was looking into pulling his children out of the school and getting their tuition money back following the unconventional welcome back to the academic year after the summer holidays had ended.
It’s not the first strange practice at the school, with Standaert also sharing that before the semester started the children were subjected to “10 days of military activities and displays of machine guns and mortars at the door.”
When Standaert’s wife tried to phone the principal and ask for an explanation, she offered only that it was “international and good exercise” before hanging up the phone.
Following the outcry, the Shenzhen Baoan District Education Bureau instructed the school to apologize to parents, before dismissing the principal and ordering a more thorough investigation of the school’s practices.
It is not unusual for female dancers to be used at seemingly strange events in China, with them making regular appearances at occasions like funerals, where it is seen as a sign of wealth. After a video of strippers at a funeral went viral in 2017, the government banned the practice, calling it “obscene and vulgar.”