Three weeks' jail for ex-teacher

Three weeks' jail for ex-teacher

She made headlines early this year when footage of her grabbing a two-year-old boy and heaving him onto the ground went viral.

As a result of the former childcare teacher's actions, the boy suffered a fracture in his left leg and had to be taken to hospital.

Yesterday, Siti Hadijah Mohamed Sin, 52, was sentenced to three weeks' jail for one count of ill-treating the child.

The boy, who cannot be named due to a gag order, had been attending My First Skool childcare centre in Toa Payoh since March last year.

The court heard that there were 41 children at the childcare centre, who were divided into four playgroups.

Siti Hadijah, who was then a part-time teacher, was tasked with looking after a group of 10 children, including the boy.

At about 9.40am on July 5, 2013, her playgroup was assembling for an activity, which she was busy preparing materials for. But the boy continued to run about the classroom.

GRABBED AND PULLED

Siti Hadijah then walked towards him, spoke to him for a moment before grabbing his left arm and pulling him for a distance of about 3m, to the corner of the classroom.

She continued to hold on to him, forcefully heaving him backwards onto the floor twice in quick succession, causing him to fall into a sitting position.

Siti Hadijah then walked back to the centre of the classroom to resume her preparations for her playgroup's activity.

The boy, however, remained seated, so Siti Hadijah approached him again.

This time, he had difficulty standing up and was limping after he was helped up by her. She then carried him to join the rest of the playgroup.

The boy later continued to complain of pain in his left leg, even after Siti Hadijah had applied baby oil on his leg.

She then called the boy's mother, before taking the him to a nearby clinic.

The boy was later referred to KK Women's and Children's Hospital, where it was found that he had a fracture in his leg.

The boy's mother made a police report the next day.

Siti Hadijah was later arrested and sacked.

Yesterday in court, she occasionally bowed her head and wiped her nose during the hearing.

In mitigation, defence counsel Satwant Singh told the court that his client had been a teacher for 14 years.

He said Siti Hadijah had joined My First Skool childcare centre in 2009, and she had been described as a caring teacher by other parents.

Once, she bought soothing powder to care for a child who was suffering from heat rash, he said.

Referring to the incident with the two-year-old boy, he said she was trying to control the child, who is hyperactive and does not sit still.

At the end of the hearing, Siti Hadijah's family members, who were mostly in tears, lined up to hug and send her off. They declined to comment when approached by The New Paper.

In July last year, TNP reported that My First Skool had its licence tenure reduced from 24 months to six months following the incident.

The school could not be reached for comment.

rloh@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on Nov 28, 2014.
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