National

Foreign day care worker reported for physical abuse against children in Kitakyushu

Kyodo, Staff Report

A foreign worker at an unlicensed day care facility in Kitakyushu has been reported for physical abuse against children while on duty, and the allegations were confirmed Tuesday by municipal officials.

The incident came to light when video footage showing the man slapping a 2-year-old on his back was posted on social media.

According to the Fukuoka-based Nishinippon Shimbun, the teacher is a Canadian in his 40s.

Following the revelation, which has shaken the local community, Kitakyushu officials met Tuesday evening with parents of the children that attend the day care facility to explain the situation.

According to the officials, the incident in which the male teacher slapped the toddler occurred in either February or March.

They said they had learned about misconduct taking place at the day care facility from a phone call in April, but when they contacted the facility’s operator to ask if any such incidents had taken place, they were met with denials.

The officials later conducted an on-site inspection and confirmed the allegations, according to the Nishinippon report.

The man was reportedly seen hitting children on their backs or bottoms, forcibly putting books in their mouths and pulling their clothes, and that such incidents would occur on a daily basis.

The day care facility takes care of children between the ages of 1 and 6, and employs English-speaking workers to familiarize the children with English conversation.

The man has been working full time at the facility for about five years but was suspended for his misconduct Tuesday, the Nishinippon reported.

The city ordered the operator to take measures to prevent such incidents from happening again.

“We’re going to provide more guidance from now on,” the city officials said.