A kindergarten principal in China tried to liven up a formal back-to-school ceremony with a racy pole dancer and was promptly fired after angry parents lit up social media with complaints.
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.
But Monday’s edition, which included the risque pole dance, cost principal Lai Rong her job.
Videos circulating on social media showed a scantily clad dancer in hot pants shimmying up and down a pole to thumping music as stunned children in marching band uniforms looked on.
Others tried to mimic the sultry moves, with several small boys gyrating their hips and dancing around each other. In the background, shocked parents could be heard commenting about the suitability of the performance.
Many took to social media to express their outrage, threatening to pull their children out of school and calling for Ms Lai’s resignation.
“Pole dancing at a school welcome ceremony? How can I trust my children with them? I’m going to pull my kid out and ask for a refund,” one parent wrote on social media platform WeChat.
“Is the principal an idiot?” another commented on the Twitter-like site Weibo.
In a text message to parents, Ms Lai apologised for the “horrific viewing experience” and for not checking the dancer’s performance, adding that the dance was intended to liven up the atmosphere.
Hours later, the local education authorities announced that they had fired the principal and put Xinshahui under investigation.
The performance at a kindergarten in Shenzhen was part of a ceremony observing the start of China’s school year.
“Other schools in the district should reflect on this incident and strictly uphold education standards,” the Bao’an education bureau said in a statement.
“I may as well be dead. I’ve already lost the hope to live,” Ms Lai told state-run tabloid the Global Times.