Parents outraged after Shenzhen kindergarten welcomes students back to school with pole-dancing performance

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The parents of pupils who are enrolled at the Xinshashui Kindergarten in Shenzhen, China were outraged after their children were welcomed back to school with pole-dancing performances yesterday. The performances were organised by the school’s principal who leads a pole-dancing class.

Featuring members of the principal’s pole-dancing class, the performance featured women dancing on flagpole bearing the flag of the People’s Republic of China. Perhaps more shockingly, the principal herself performed a pole dance for the young kindergartners:

One parent, Michael Standaert, noted what a contrast this welcome back to school event is compared to the tasteful and educational activities that were organised before the children left for their summer break. A China-based freelance writer, Standaert added that the principal has “gone nuts”:

“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.”

Standaert also revealed that the performance was heavily advertised around the kindergarten campus, with posters of the dancers erected around the school, adding that the distasteful performance made him decide to withdraw his two children from the school.

Like the freelance writer, many more parents expressed outrage at the shocking pole dances which the principal later defended as “international and good exercise.”

The ensuing uproar was so great that the school management eventually apologised. Here is the translated statement from the school provided by Standaert:

“Distinguished parents:

“At the opening ceremony of our kindergarten, we arranged many programs, with the intention to not only make the performances different and unconventional, but also expose the children to a wider range of dances, hence the introduction of pole dancing. We did not, however, have the intention of promoting pole dancing among children as part of their learning, and we surely did not consider the large reaction it would cause. We apologize for the trouble we created for the parents!

“In the process of learning, children will only be exposed to the basics of Chinese dance. After today, the children will not again be introduced to forms of dance that parents do not accept and do not recognize. Parents, please don’t feel too nervous, as there is no pole dancing involved in our course curriculm. All of the courses are made for traditional content, which is integrated with our operating materials, without additional programs. Parents, please rest assured!”

Standaert later confirmed that the principal has been fired by the Bao’an education authorities.