Principal fired after welcoming kids back to school with bizarre dancing show
Kindergarten is one of the most innocent and carefree times in a person's life. It's a chance for children to learn their ABCs and have their first social interactions without their parent's holding their hands. Kindergartens are filled with toys and other educational activities which are invaluable to a child's development, and, naturally, are expected to be innocent.
So parents in China were understandably shocked when their children returned to kindergarten from their summer break to discover that their principal had hired pole dancers to entertain them. The children were aged between three and six, and in shocking footage of the incident, they can be seen watching the erotic dancers in a state of absolute confusion.
After footage of the performance was posted online by shocked parents, the school, Xinshashui Kindergarten in Shenzhen, issued an apology over its decision to hire the dancers, claiming that it was done entirely for educational reasons.
Some parents are now removing their children from the school and attempting to have the tuition they paid refunded. "What was the principal thinking? Pole dancing is entirely inappropriate in a school setting," one commented. "I demand my money back."
To see the pole dancing routine which was performed for the children, check out the video below:
Michael Standaert, a journalist based in Shenzhen and a parent of two of the children in attendance, said that the pole dancers were a "strange" choice of entertainment and that he too is now debating removing his children from the school.
"I have nothing against pole dancing for adults doing exercise or in adult clubs and things like that, but it is so strangely inappropriate for a kindergarten performance," Standaert revealed in an interview with the MailOnline.
Taking to Twitter to reveal the setup of the kindergarten's entertainment, Standaert wrote, "So before our kids got out of kindergarten for the summer, there was 10 days of military 'activities' and displays of machine guns and mortars at the door; now the principle has welcomed them back with a strip pole on the flag pole bearing the PRC flag. She's gone nuts."
"Who would think this is a good idea?" the journalist questioned. "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."
Standaert then revealed that the principal was not willing to discuss the matter, adding, "The principal hung up on my wife when she called after saying it was 'international and good exercise' ... okay, yeah for adults maybe, but not 3-6 year old kids."
The principle's decision to hire the dancers could have, in part, been informed by the fact that pole dancing is growing in popularity in China. However, the majority of people still associate the sport with pornography and strip clubs.
Lai Rong, the principal of the pre-school in the city's Bao'an District, said in the kindergarten's apology to parents that the purpose of the dancers was to "lighten up the atmosphere" during the first day of school.
"We apologize for not putting more consideration into the planning of the dance performance and for causing a bad experience among students and parents," the apology added.
The Shenzhen Education Bureau stated on its official Weibo account that the incident is now under investigation.
"The education bureau believes it is not appropriate to arrange pole dancing performances for children in kindergartens," it said.
After a number of complaints, the kindergarten's principal was fired. However, not everyone believes she was in the wrong.
"Did the kids throw their lunch money?" joked Twitter user @dave911rsr of the incident.
"I think it's great," commented @NielsINT before explaining that pole dancing has nothing to do with sex. "Only deranged and repressed perverts automatically associate pole dance with sex. It's an internationally recognized sport which is being considered for the Olympics. It requires high degrees of strength, flexibility and coordination."
"Saying pole dancing and stripping are the same thing is like saying cars and drunk driving are the same," added @controlaltmusic. "I'd expect this post from someone who lives in Alabama. Don't you think you're overreacting a bit?"
Others, however, said that while they did not have a problem with pole dancing as a choice of entertainment, they believed that the dancer's choice of clothing sexualized what could have otherwise been a completely innocent routine.
"I love Pole Art/Pole Technique.. it is one of the most amazing workouts in the word.. however, this lunatic wasn.t really displaying the "Sport" of it and the stripper heels and sexy dancing tossed it over into something NOT for children or a school setting! [sic]" wrote Twitter user @BridgitUSA.
Despite some social media users speaking out in defense of the principle, there were others who condemned the pole dancing entirely.
"I'm trying really hard to agree with you, but for kindergarten? It's too provocative. It's nutty," wrote @RobbieCoachella.
"You've got to be mentally challenged to think that dancing on a stripper pole for kids is acceptable," wrote @killaclown73. "Stop trying to justify this nonsense."
While pole dancing is a sport, it's clear that the principle should have thought twice before hiring the dancers, especially as the kindergarten was not a school for gifted young dancers with a need to be exposed to so many different types of performance. Hopefully, the principle's dismissal will remind other school's that age-appropriate entertainment is a must for children.