Date
21 July 2017
A still image taken from a video clip shows a boy returning to a classroom with a broom. The child was then smacked by a teacher, who has now been dismissed from her job. Credit: Apple Daily, littletree.edu.hk
A still image taken from a video clip shows a boy returning to a classroom with a broom. The child was then smacked by a teacher, who has now been dismissed from her job. Credit: Apple Daily, littletree.edu.hk

Kindergarten fires teacher caught on video slapping a pupil

A kindergarten in Ngau Tau Kok has sacked a teacher after she was caught on camera slapping a K1 student in a classroom earlier this year. 

The Christian Little Tree Kindergarten took action against a teacher surnamed Lee following a complaint over an incident that took place in April, according to Apple Daily.

In the incident that was captured on video by a parent, the female teacher was seen smacking a young boy who was trying to clean up a table after he spilt some water on it.

After spilling the water, the boy went out of the classroom and returned with a broom. As he began to clean the table, a teacher rushed up to him and shouted: “What do you think you are doing?”

According to the 46-second clip that was circulated among other parents, there were two teachers and around ten students in the classroom at that time.

One teacher grabbed the broom and walked out of the classroom, while the other teacher grabbed the hand of the boy and pulled him back to his seat.

The boy was pulled back as he was trying to follow the other teacher out of the classroom.

After grabbing him, the teacher ordered the child to sit down. She then slapped the boy across his face and also smacked him on his hand.

After learning of the video clip, the kindergarten issued a notice to parents on April 21, informing them that a teacher surnamed Lee was fired.

The school insisted that it was a standalone case and that it doesn’t tolerate abusive behavior by teachers.

Wu Chiu-ha, Hong Kong Kindergarten Association chairperson, told Apple Daily that the teacher should have never resorted to physical punishment on the child.

It was her failure in the first place that she didn’t notice that the boy had left the classroom, he said.

Wu agreed with the school’s decision to terminate the employment of the teacher.

Meanwhile, she heaped praise on the boy for displaying a sense of responsibility for trying to clean up the mess himself after spilling water in the classroom.

A clinical psychologist, Sarah Ip Miu-yin, warned that physical punishments could bring about serious psychological consequences on students.

The Education Bureau said an investigation by the school is ongoing and that the case is also being looked into by the police.

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