SHENZHEN, China — A Chinese kindergarten principal has been fired after she welcomed students back to school at the beginning of term with a pole dancing display.
Hundreds of children and parents at the Xinshahui kindergarten in Shenzhen, in the southern province of Guangdong, watched as a female pole dancer performed on a flag pole in a large courtyard.
Videos posted by parents on Monday show the skimpily-dressed dancer spinning and leaning seductively on the flagpole, from which a Chinese flag was flying.
Speaking to state media, the principal Lai Rong said there had been 500 children aged three to six and 100 parents in attendance.
The first Monday in September is the start of a new school year in China and schools often hold ceremonies to mark the occasion, usually involving motivating speeches by the principal or alumni.
Shenzhen-based journalist Michael Standaert said on social media he had planned to take his children out of the school following the performance.
“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 on his Twitter account.
Standaert said there were advertisements around the courtyard for a pole dancing school. The writer said when his wife called the principal to complain, the official hung up after saying it was “good exercise.”
Speaking to CNN, Standaert said some students were “uncomfortable” with the performance, but added things were now moving back to normal under a new principal.
In a statement posted to Weibo on Monday afternoon, the local education bureau said an investigation had found a pole dancing business had been invited into the kindergarten to perform.
“The district education bureau believes performing pole dancing for kindergarten children is not appropriate,” the statement said, adding the school had been asked to apologize to students and parents.
Principal Lai told state tabloid Global Times that while “a few parents” had requested a refund, others wanted to “learn a new type of dance.”
She said she arranged the dance because of the dancer’s “excellent skills.”