My First Skool teacher abusing 3 year old boy

From Facebook post on 938 Live News, 7 July 2013,  and ‘Caught on camera:Woman abuses child at Toa Payoh childcare centre’, 7 July 2013, asiaone.com

Parents of a 3 year boy have lodged a police report against a pre-school teacher for allegedly abusing their son, and causing him to suffer a fracture on his leg. The incident allegedly happened on Friday morning at My First Skool Toa Payoh.

Video clips from CCTV recordings in the centre which showed the incident, have since gone viral. One clip showed a woman dragging a young boy to a corner of the classroom, and pushing him to the floor. A second clip showed the boy – still in the corner – trying but failing to stand on his own.

The boy’s mother told 938LIVE she was informed by staff of the centre while she was at work that her child was complaining of pain, and that he had had a fall. At the KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital, doctors confirmed the boy has a hairline fracture in his shin.

When the parents returned to the pre-school centre, they demanded to see the CCTV recording of the classroom, following which they filed a police report. When contacted, police confirmed they are investigating the incident.

(Asiaone): In what seems to be a shocking case of child abuse, a woman was caught on closed-circuit television cameras slamming a child repeatedly onto the ground….According to online comments, the child suffered a fractured left shin. A photo posted on Facebook showed the child’s leg in a plaster cast wrapped in bandages.

Reactions to the video have been strong, with most netizens condemning and criticising the woman’s actions. Most netizens empathised with the child’s parents, while others urged them to lodge a police report. Some have also called for the woman to be fired.

The term ‘childcare’ centre is a misnomer, because you might as well drop your child off at a dungeon. Singaporean parents have little choice really given their busy schedules, and are well aware of the risks of placing their precious tots in the hands of strangers. It’s rather premature to charge the teacher for almost breaking the toddler’s leg based on the CCTV though it does appear that she was manhandling the kid, with some hints of slapping going on. The teacher did carry the injured boy in her arms by the end of the second clip, though it’s not clear if she intended to send him for medical attention or dump him in a boiling cauldron.

If it’s not Hand Foot and Mouth Disease (HFMD) putting your kid in the hospital it’s abusive teachers. In 2008, childcare teacher Hasanah Ahmad was charged and fined $4000 for causing unnecessary suffering to a 4 year old after dousing chili padi on his face. This followed a bout of mischief in which the boy hurled a wooden stick at another playmate. I don’t know what the childcare centre was doing leaving deadly weapons around the place, including the chili padi, or maybe it’s something women carry around in their purses to ward off rapists. Of course you can’t let a little budding gangster go scot-free for rioting with a dangerous weapon at the expense of other kids, but I’m sure they’re better ways of discouraging violent behaviour than using chemical warfare. And wasting perfectly good chili padi, too. Thanks to Hasanah’s chili attack, the boy has since developed a phobia of chili, and to me, that’s more depressing than a good ol’ fashioned butt-spanking.

Last year, a Madam Shida from Little Footprints Schoolhouse was fired after being accused of PINCHING a boy in the stomach, leaving a 20-CENT mark which she claimed was a mosquito bite. The kid had apparently been running around pissing all over the place and was in need for some tough love, though I doubt such forms of physical punishment would be of any use in toilet training. Using ‘mosquito bite’ as an excuse may not be a good idea either. In addition to MSF, parents may report you to NEA for exposing their kids to dengue.

If found guilty of abuse, the My First Skool culprit should be rightly brought to justice, but some of the knee-jerk comments by parents calling for hefty punishment may discourage those looking to childcare teaching as a profession. If every teacher got sacked because some concerned parent complained to the police of a swollen earlobe, who’s going to look after our babies in future? Robots with bolsters for arms, foam padding for fingers and speak in lullabies? What would anxious parents suggest to teachers then, if some feral kid runs amok in class? Do nothing or stop a child from his nonsense and you risk losing your job either way. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. This, by the way, is just the beginning of a cycle of senseless violence that will torment us from cradle to the grave. If you’re not hit in playschool, you’ll get it in primary school,  at the workplace, from your spouse, and eventually on your deathbed in a nursing home like Nightingale. 

It can be tough on childcare teachers really, the majority of whom I’m sure are perfectly kind and composed professionals who have to deal with problem children and agitated parents every day of their lives. They are usually the first to get scrutinised and reported to the police everytime a child gets hurt, be it a bruise or a thump in the eye. But sometimes it’s not so much an abuse of authority that damages the child, but because their classmates are really flesh-eating cannibals with gnashing teeth. Maybe HFMD isn’t the only contagion in child care centres, looking at the rate of kids attempting to eat each other. In 2010, a toddler, also from First Skool, was CHOMPED near the eye. The biter was labelled a ‘monster’ and the school was blamed for allowing it to happen. Maybe they didn’t serve enough milk and cookies there, but the simpler explanation is that Nature made some babies that way. A twin may gorge on another’s blood supply while still in the womb, for God’s sake. Disciplining a biter after an incident may be the worst thing a teacher can do, in fact. The parents of the bitten may sue you for negligence and those of the biter may sue you for abuse. Double whammy.

Other than being brutalised by teachers or left to fend themselves against serial biters, some parents think it’s equally cruel that a NTUC-run childcare centre spells ‘school’ as ‘Skool’. More like ‘My First Scar/Skar’, really. For some, like the chili victim or the boy who got body-slammed, those scars may very well be permanent.

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13 Responses

  1. the problem is not the childcare, schools, institutions. It is the fact that PARENTS do not discipline their children any more. the job is shoved onto others, who, at the end, do not have the authority or the choices that a parent has.

    • Totally agree!

    • It seems we have lots of ignorant smart alec that thinks disciplining children is a one day thing. Children are naturally playful, they need to learn and its the responsibility of both the school and parents to work hand in hand to discipline them. Bear in mind that children are brought to infant at tender age of months, unlike when we grew up. The first experience of school was a Kindergarten at 4 years old. No matter how much effort parents spend to teach their kids, at these tender ages, their natural playful instincts will be there.

      • i meant : Bear in mind that children are brought to infant-care at tender age of months, unlike when we grew up.

      • Spot on, ignorant comments. Children tend to be playful and adults need to be patient and kind when dealing with them.

  2. Parents who send their kids for mass market child care and children who send their parents for mass market elder care should get real. What sort of care ratio are they expecting? One (which represents the care-giving side) to 2, 4, 8 or 12? I would say try 2 to 1 (which represents the care receiving side) is a comfortable figure. But can they afford or are willing to pay? If not, then don’t use the mass market services or put up with the occasional incidents as collateral damage.

    My mother of 88 is looked after in the ratio of 1.5 to 1 plus plenty of other support. She’s still able to move around, feed and clean herself after a fashion. Yet she’s suffered the occasional tumble or eating the wrong food, with the obvious consequences. If she were in a mass market environment I can predict there would be many many more 🙄

  3. This is exactly what you get when you employ these femmie bitches who think they are too clever for their own good.
    I always said this was coming, especially in light of what a certain, female if you please, Permanent Secretary once said about men being forbidden from all classrooms as they were nothing but closet paedophiles.
    Payback’s a bitch ain’t it?

  4. The teacher in question has decades of experience with no prior complaints on her record. What she did is excessive, but it just illustrates how everyone has a breaking point. Maybe the school staff can weigh in with their accounts of this particular kid’s behaviour history, whether the parents were aware of any problems and bothered to address them.
    What exactly do parents expect from childcare centres? I know of older kids who turn to the staff for help with their homework while parents totally bo chap, and the poor kids don’t understand what the schoolteachers are saying in class.
    Just hope all the facts will be reviewed and this teacher treated fairly.

  5. 938’s got updated news for what seems to be a one-off case and police’s arrested the alleged child abuse teacher and my first skool’s covering all medical expenses. They also set up a distress helpline to help other parents..

  6. […] lancerlord: of toddler abused at toa payoh childcare centre – Everything Also Complain: My First Skool teacher abusing 3 year old boy – Breakfast Network: Childcare teacher arrested – mr brown: Child abuse case at First […]

  7. It is bad enough to have abusive teachers, what makes it worse is to have abusive writing like this. The use of abusive language like dungeon, risk, boiling cauldron, flesh eating cannibals with gnashing teeth and more. Such colorful but inciting words do not help to calm minds, which are needed for deep reflection and effective solutions. Let’s stop the blame game and do the best by our young generation.

  8. You are wrong. There is a lot of abusive and dark side in this industry. I a male childcare teacher before. Ask me more

  9. My daughter is in play group at jalan sultan BLK 19 her name is vaishnavi d/o vijay she have been enroll in the school since she was 6 months baby n now already in playgroup and I have endure so much of issue yet things can improve but than the school teachers which not taking I mean may be some have not taken into conservative to kids as my daughter was passed down lice by other kids I mean will teacher have to see which kid have been rubbing her head but didn’t take it seriously as they assuming they might be itchy if they are sweating and all its been a week my daughter suffered and I have to found out on the 8th MAY and have few lices and apply medicine and send her school she did suffer alot with the itchy n bites and Tuesday I have to chop off my daughter to shoulder height after she went back school on thrusday and they found my daughter rubbing her head n they finally found lice eggs and alsolate her at the corner as it’s ask me to fetch her at the earliest times but in the school they haven even find with kids have bring in lice and effect my daughter and it’s really upset me and also my duaghter suffers and also cos of poor quality control in school this lice effect my son and on thrusday afternoon @2plus I she fetching her I went to bring to the saloon cut her long hip long hair to army hair cut and and also my son too don’t you all think it a sad things as my gal have to go thur all this and have to total chopped off just due to school issue have lice and also this issue I really wan a good news from the school what they can do all this kinds of issue please take into this matter and and write in a reply for as I am goin to pursue to MOE so that this won’t happen to other kids in the school fristly teachers have to stop thinking they are just rubbing the head due to friends and all pls get back to asap that you from vaishnavi mother

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