A foreign teacher working at a Beijing kindergarten in China was fired after a video purportedly shoe him abusing a student went viral on Chinese social media.
Netizens went up in arms against the teacher who can be seen lifting a four-year-old student roughly by the arm in the widely shared 10-second footage. He then struck the child on the head with his hand before raising his foot against the student.
According to the New Beijing Times (via The Beijinger), the school where it all happened, Aofangxing All-Foreign Teacher’s Kindergarten, is located at building 10 in the district of Haidian.
In an interview, one of the teachers in the school, named Shao, revealed that the school initially wanted to conduct an investigation after the holiday and did not want to fire the teacher immediately over what was deemed as an “accidental situation.”
“This black teacher usually treats the children very well,” Shao was quoted as saying. “The children and parents are usually very approving of him. It’s likely that the child was misbehaving at the time, and the teacher decided to discipline him.”
Shao added that the school intends to seek the opinion of their students’ parents before arriving at a decision. The kindergarten, however, ended up firing the teacher on the same day, allegedly for “excessive behavior that had negative ramifications.”
Reports have identified the teacher only as an American called “Imon”, while the student remained unnamed. There is also little information revealed surrounding the context of the video itself in the reports.
According to the kindergarten principal, Imon’s assistant may have been the one who recorded the incident on camera. As for Imon himself, the kindergarten principal maintained that he was accepted by the school because he qualified for the teaching job: “He had all the academic credentials, but needed to go back to his country for a criminal check.”
Weighing on the issue, some Chinese netizens expressed their criticisms on how the expat teacher was treated.
“Frankly speaking, if this is considered to be abuse, then it’s very mild abuse. This doesn’t look to be severe at all,” one commenter wrote.
“If this is considered to be abuse, then what my school teacher did to me back during elementary school can be considered to be ‘murder.’ He actually used a broom to beat us!” another pointed out.
“People: the term ‘abuse’ is too heavy a term to be used in this situation,” added another.
“So when I was in elementary school and had my head beaten in by my teacher, should I have reported on her?” a netizen asked.
“This is considered to be abuse? Now I finally understand why children are so pampered these days,” wrote another.
While some social media users sided with the teacher, there are many who expressed anger over his actions.
“Speaking honestly, foreign teachers are mostly losers. They come to China because they are given the opportunity to make a lot of money here, something Chinese people put up with!” one netizen said.
“Is this black person working on a special permit? Why are so many employment qualifications necessary for Chinese workers, but there aren’t any for these laowai that keep ending up in bad situations? Today’s China has become so strong that there is no need to worship foreigners!” questioned one.
“So many people in these comments unexpectedly siding with the black teacher. I just hope that you will be just as open-minded when your own child is picked up like that!” someone lamented.