SINGAPORE - An eight-year-old boy suffered bruises to his buttocks after he was reportedly beaten with a wooden ruler by the principal of a childcare centre early this month.
The boy's mother, Ms Llva Chin, first discovered the "red marks" on her son's buttocks while he was taking a shower on the evening of Feb 3, reported online portal Stomp.
Speaking to The Straits Times on Monday (Feb 12), Ms Chin said her son attended Star Kidz Powerclub, a childcare centre at Block 509, Bedok North Avenue 3.
The centre is run by former Channel 8 actor Ryan Choo, who serves as the principal, and two women teachers.
Ms Chin, a 34-year-old administrative assistant, said that she made a police report on Feb 6. In response to queries from The Straits Times, the police confirmed that a report was lodged and investigations are ongoing.
Ms Chin said that her husband had alerted her to the bruises, and when she asked her son about them later that evening, he initially said that he had been punished by a teacher for "talking in class".
She contacted a teacher at the centre and was told on the phone that her son was punished by Mr Choo after he opened the door to a toilet while a girl was using it.
Ms Chin said that the children were playing hide-and-seek at the centre on Jan 31 when the boy accidentally opened the door to the toilet as he thought one of his friends was hiding there.
The girl, who was shocked, started crying for her parents.
Ms Chin was told by the teacher that her son was punished to pacify the girl's angry parents.
On Feb 5, she met Mr Choo at the centre, and he told her that he had hit the boy on his buttocks with a wooden ruler.
Said Ms Chin: "I feel guilty that this happened to my son. He is still a child after all, and it is not right for the centre to punish him this way. As parents, we should be informed and not have to find the bruises on our son's body ourselves."
She said that while her son recovered after about a week, she did not feel secure placing him in the childcare centre any longer.
She said that her son attended Star Kidz Powerclub on weekdays over the past three years, as Ms Chin and her husband are both working. The boy started attending a new childcare centre in Bedok on Monday.
Mr Choo told The Straits Times over the phone on Monday that he is aware of police investigations into the incident.
He added that the boy has stopped going to the centre, which Mr Choo has been running for more than 10 years.
He said: "I have been thinking a lot. It is really not appropriate for me to make any comments now that the police are conducting their investigations. I am really sorry."