Hanoi int'l kindergarten teachers fired for locking child in closet

By Duong Tam   August 19, 2019 | 11:01 pm PT
Hanoi int'l kindergarten teachers fired for locking child in closet
Maple Bear Westlake Point kindergarten in Tay Ho District, Hanoi. Photo by VnExpress/Duong Tam.
Canadian-owned kindergarten Maple Bear Westlake Point in Hanoi has fired three teachers for locking a three-year-old boy in a closet this month.

On August 5 one of two assistant teachers in a class, identified only as Thu, manhandled and threatened students before pushing the boy into a wooden cabinet and shutting the door. Her acts were caught on the school’s CCTV.

Another child in the class told her mother, Le Mai Linh, about this, and she informed the boy’s family and the school.

The head teacher and her two assistants apologized to the family. But they were fired by the school.

Linh's daughter had told her she was "constantly pushed, pulled, and punished [in class] perhaps [because] she cries a lot since she just got out of hospital."

Do Minh Dan, the boy’s father, said he "was deeply shocked when he saw the video and furious with both the teacher and her employer."

He blamed what happened on the kindergarten for hiring incompetent staff.

The boy reportedly shows no ill-effects or trauma and soon returned to school.

Thu was a contract teacher who had started working a month and a half earlier.

On Monday parents of 10 children in the boy’s class met with Lan Anh, the school spokesperson.

She apologized to the parents and promised something like that would never happen again.

"The head teacher had worked here for five or six years and was very dedicated. But maybe she was distracted because she is pregnant."

Meanwhile, it turns out the school is under notice to close because its land documents are not in order.

Le Hong Vu, head of Department of Education and Training of Tay Ho District, said Maple Bear Westlake Point had been ordered to shut down more than a week ago.

The school has asked for time until the end of August to resolve some issues.

Many parents are reportedly not aware of the imminent closure.

The kindergarten belongs to a global educational organization based in Vancouver, Canada, that runs more than 350 kindergartens and primary schools in 17 countries, including nine in Hanoi.

The West Lake campus has been running for two years and has 50 students.

Its monthly tuition fees range from VND15 million to 17 million ($645 - 731). Vietnam's GDP per capita last year was $2,560.

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