The principal of a kindergarten in Shenzen, China, was recently axed after videos of children as young as three being welcomed back by scantly-dressed pole dancers went viral online.
The first Monday in September marks the start of a new school year in China, and many learning institutions host special celebrations to mark the event.
The Xinshahui kindergarten in Shenzhen was no different, but the parents of the roughly 500 children - aged three to six - enrolled there did not expect the ceremony to include pole dancers winding and spinning provocatively on a metal pole with a Chinese flag flying on top.
About 100 parents were in attendance at the awkward ceremony, many of whom declared themselves outraged by the pole dancers' performance.
The principal of the kindergarten, Lai Rong, had a very simple explanation for her choice: some of the parents had expressed a desire for their kids to "learn a new type of dance" and she had selected the pole dancers because of their "excellent skills". That makes total sense...
Apparently, this isn't Principal Rong's first questionable decision, at least according to journalist Michael Standaert, whose child is enrolled at Xinshahui kindergarten:
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 principal has welcomed them back with a strip pole dance," Standaert wrote in a tweet, adding "She's gone nuts."
The local education bureau launched an investigation into the bizarre ceremony and found that a pole dancing groups had been invited to perform at the kindergarten. In an official statement, the bureau said that "performing pole dancing for kindergarten children is not appropriate".
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 principal has welcomed them back with a strip pole dance on the flagpole bearing the PRC flag. She's gone nuts. pic.twitter.com/BJr4UI6Oq3— Michael Standaert (@mstandaert) September 3, 2018
Many of the children were obviously uncomfortable watching a scantly-dressed pole dancer perform in their kindergarten courtyard, and the controversy around the event lead to the firing of Principal Rong.