KUALA LUMPUR: A 4-year-old boy’s penis turned colour and swelled up after allegedly being pinched by his kindergarten teacher — just because he misbehaved and refused to take a nap.
Furious that such a thing could happen, his parents confronted the teacher, who at first refused to admit to anything, even going so far as to say she would review closed-circuit television (CCTV) footage and take action against anyone found to have abused the boy.
But she finally owned up when threatened that the family would lodge a police report against her.
Though the teacher apologised, the family lodged a police report anyway.
The boy’s 23-year-old father, identified as Woo, told reporters yesterday his son took a week to recover from his injuries.
He said the incident occurred on Nov 17. The family found out later that day when the boy’s grandmother gave him a bath and noticed the injuries.
“I first learnt about this from my mother who found the marks while bathing him. He said he was pinched for being naughty and refusing to take a nap when asked by the teacher.
“I was so horrified that I immediately took him to see the doctor. It took him a week to recover,” he said at the MCA Public Services and Complaints Department.
Woo said the teacher, who is in her 30s, had denied the accusation at first and instead promised to take action after reviewing the CCTV footage.
“She only confessed and apologised for what she did when my wife threatened to lodge a police report when they met her,” he said at the press conference, accompanied by his wife and son.
Woo claimed that the couple had earlier agreed not to involve the authorities but decided against it as the kindergarten appeared to be stalling and did not want to take responsibility over the matter.
As a result the couple lodged a police report on Nov 23. They have also stopped sending the child to the kindergarten since.
Department head Datuk Seri Michael Chong said the couple would be taking legal action against the kindergarten while police could investigate the case under the Child Act 2001.
“We are not just worried about his physical condition but his mental health has also been affected by this,” he said, adding that the boy was now undergoing counselling.
He said such cases called for more attention from the public, especially from parents.
“We wish to bring this case to light because we feel this is just the tip of the iceberg. There (could be) many more cases like this which are not brought to my office. Last month, we also had a similar case where a child was abused by his kindergarten teacher,” added Chong.
He said parents should not blindly put their trust in those working in kindergartens.
“Parents must also be more aware of their children’s condition. They must always check for injuries or marks and find out how they got them,” he added.