Shocking child abuse caught on camera at South Korea nursery

A toddler (left) lays on the floor after being hit by her teacher in a South Korean nursery. -- PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM CNN.COM
A toddler (left) lays on the floor after being hit by her teacher in a South Korean nursery. -- PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM CNN.COM
A toddler (left) being hit by a teacher in a South Korean nursery. -- PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM CNN.COM
A toddler (left) being hit by a teacher in a South Korean nursery. -- PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM CNN.COM
A toddler being hit by a teacher in a South Korean nursery is caught on camera, causing nationwide outrage. -- PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM CNN.COM
A toddler being hit by a teacher in a South Korean nursery is caught on camera, causing nationwide outrage. -- PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM CNN.COM

SEOUL - A video of a childcare teacher slapping a toddler so hard she flies and falls to the ground has caused outrage in South Korea.

In CCTV footage from the centre, a little girl is forced to eat kimchi. When she spits it out, the teacher swings at her hard, and the girl falls, unable to get up for a few seconds.

The teacher from a centre one hour west of Seoul was detained on Thursday, CNN reported.

The 33-year-old, known only as Yang, admitted on Monday that she had punched the child, but she claimed that the act was part of discipline measures to correct the child's bad habit, investigators said.

The police secured surveillance camera footage at the day care facility from the last 24 days, which is the maximum storage period, to look into any further charges against Yang.

The investigators also collected witness accounts from parents of 16 other children who reportedly shared similar experiences, The Korea Herald said. It appears that this was not an isolated incident.

Yang had reportedly been fired from another day care facility for locking a child in a room, according to the parents' accounts.

The centre is now closed, and the head teacher has apologised to the children and the parents.

South Koreans, horrified at the case, have publishing the personal details of the teacher and head teacher online.

In protest, parents in the area are taking turns to stand vigil outside the childcare centre, holding a sign that says "No to violence against children".

A similar case in the area was caught on camera in December, and parents are asking if more cases are going unreported.

The ruling Saenuri Party has pledged to tighten child care regulations, The Korea Herald said.

chuimin@sph.com.sg