A Chinese headteacher has been sacked after booking a pole dancer to perform at a back-to-school show for pupils as young as three and their families.
Michael Standaert, an American ex-pat whose child goes to the school, tweeted on Monday that when his wife called to complain, the principal defended the show by saying pole dancing was an worldwide phenomenon, and "good exercise". "I already lost the hope to live", Lai told state-run tabloid the Global Times. Journalist Michael Standaert was in attendance, as his child was part of the school, and he took to Twitter to share a video from another parent of the event. It reported the principal had been dismissed and assured parents there would be no further pole dancing featured within the school.
A screengrab shows a pole dancer surrounded by parents and their children at a Chinese kindergarten. Small girls in red marching band uniforms stood impassively in front of the stage in the schoolyard while the pole dancer flounced in front of them.More news: Brie Larson as 'Captain Marvel' - First Look at the Marvel Superhero!
"Who would think this is a good idea?" he wrote.
"The District Education Bureau believes that it is not appropriate to perform pole dancing for children in kindergartens". In July, the school had put up a military display with children looking at sniper guns and arms that were put on display and contemplated taking his children out of school back then. Like most schools across China, the Xinshahui Kindergarten in the southern city of Shenzhen marks the start of the school year with a ceremony, usually consisting of performances and speeches.
Another, blunter comment questioned the principal's sanity.More news: 'We need to hit the refresh button', says Clarets 'keeper
Within hours of the clips going viral, Bao'an district educational officials confirmed that Lai had been removed from her post as principal, inviting any schools mulling a similar stunt to "reflect on this incident and strictly uphold education standards". "And I also don't doubt that the moves we've just seen are pole dancing rather than pole fitness", psychologist Emma Kenny said on the show, according to The Telegraph.
The school and its principal soon faced a backlash online, with many calling the dance absolutely inappropriate for children at that age.More news: Ronaldo, Modric, Salah shortlisted — FIFA's best player