Kindergarten teacher, who asked pupil to strip in class, sentenced to probation

A former kindergarten teacher was placed on probation for 21 months for getting a five-year-old girl to remove her clothes and stand naked in front of her classmates. -- NP FILE GRAPHIC: SIMONANG
A former kindergarten teacher was placed on probation for 21 months for getting a five-year-old girl to remove her clothes and stand naked in front of her classmates. -- NP FILE GRAPHIC: SIMONANG

A former kindergarten teacher was placed on probation for 21 months for getting a five-year-old girl to remove her clothes and stand naked in front of her classmates.

The 26-year-old had also swung the child against a whiteboard and pushed her on two occasions causing her to fall. The offences were all committed in a classroom of a PAP Community Foundation Education Centre in July and August 2011.

The teacher cannot be named as there is a gag order on all details that could lead to the identification of the victim.

In his grounds of decision, District Judge Lim Tse Haw said that this was "no ordinary case" as the teacher herself had suffered "unspeakable abuse for a prolonged period when (she) was young" by someone who should have been protecting her.

She is believed to have been sexually abused by her father right up to her teenage years before an aunt found out about it. Her father was jailed for 14 years and is presently serving his sentence. Psychiatrist Cornelia Chee of the National University Hospital diagnosed her as suffering from untreated depression.

Dr Chee also said that it was "not uncommon" to see a victim of chronic abuse replicating the same scenario that the victim had experienced.

Conditions of the probation included performing 40 hours of community service. She also has to continue psychiatric treatment and psychological treatment.

She was also ordered to pay $1,000 compensation to the victim.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Chee Ee Ling did not object to probation being granted.

Defence counsel T.U. Naidu, acting for the woman under the Criminal Legal Aid Scheme, had told the court that his client was very remorseful that she might have caused irreversible harm to the child.

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