Video captures shocking child abuse at Saigon nursery

By Staff reporters   November 27, 2017 | 12:26 pm GMT+7
Video captures shocking child abuse at Saigon nursery
Parents and curious people gather outside a nursery in Saigon after its abuse was exposed in a disturbing video. Photo by VnExpress/Son Hoa

The video shows three women slapping, kicking and punching the children, caning their feet and threatening them with a knife.

A private kindergarten in Saigon has been closed after a video showing shocking footage of the children being beaten went viral online.

Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper published the video of the painful ordeal at Mam Xanh (Green Buds) Daycare Center in District 12 on the outskirts of the city on Sunday, and it has been shared rapidly online.

Images of child abuse at care centers are no longer rare in Vietnam, but they cause widespread anger every time they come to light, especially if they suggest long-term abuse of a large number of children.

Mam Xanh was taking care of around 30 children aged between two and four years old, whose parents are mostly factory workers in the area.

Pham Thi My Linh, the owner, charged VND1.25 million ($55) a month per child. She and her two employees received the children from their parents with smiles and jokes every morning.

But things turned out to be ugly behind closed doors, according to Tuoi Tre’s investigation, which was launched following a tip-off.

The video shows Linh slapping a little boy repeatedly in the face to force him to say hello to her, and hitting a small girl on the head with a big plastic can because she had crawled out of her place.

Linh, around 40, and the two babysitters, Quynh and Dao, both in their 20s, can be seen slapping, kicking and punching the children, caning the soles of their feet and shoving their heads against a wall.

They beat the children with anything close to hand: a slipper, a comb, a broom, a spoon, a pan lid and even a knife. One of the women is seen swinging a knife at the children to browbeat them into eating, and tapping it on one of their heads.

The children were tortured almost all day while happy kids’ songs were playing in the background.

The second many parents saw the video they went straight to the school and banged on the doors.

Some burst out crying as they took their children back.

Le Thi Xinh, a 25-year-old mother, said now she understands why her son cried every morning before leaving for school.

“He always insisted he did not want to go, but I could not imagine that his teachers could be so cruel,” she said.

Other mothers recalled days when their children had been crying with pain after school. One of them had stopped sending her kid to the center recently.

Police have promised the women will be “strictly” punished.

Child abuse at nurseries is reported quite often in Vietnam, but criminal charges are rarely brought against the culprits.

Two teachers in Hanoi were fined VND2.5 million ($110) each early this year after an online video showed them beating crying children with various objects, including a slipper.

In a rare case, a court in the southern province of Kien Giang sentenced two babysitters to three years in jail in January 2014 for torturing children at an unlicensed private nursery.

Another babysitter in Saigon received an 18-year sentence the same year for killing a baby after she couldn’t stop him crying. She escaped the death sentence because she was under 18 at the time of the fatal incident.

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