BEIJING - Parents attending a ceremony at a kindergarten in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen on Monday were horrified when a scantily clad pole dancer took to the stage and proceeded with a well-oiled number in plain view of their children.
The performance, part of a ceremony observing the start of China's school year, was quickly denounced by the local education bureau. The authority has since called for the dismissal of the kindergarten director.
In a social media post, the education bureau of Baoan district also warned other kindergartens against inappropriate behaviour.
The outrage at the unusual choice of performance followed nationwide complaints over the weekend by parents who had to sit through 12 minutes of television adverts with their children to watch a government-mandated programme ahead of the start of the school year on Monday.
Video footage of the pole dance, as well as one other burlesque performance by a second dancer, was widely shared on Twitter and Chinese social media.
"Pole dancing is by nature sexy and flirtatious, and by that measure, it is for the eyes of adults, not young children," said an anonymous user on Weibo, a popular Twitter-like microblog in China.
Some said parents should not entrust their young children to a school with such taste and inclination, whereas others were more measured in their response.
"Well, I'm speechless. Pole-dancing could be an Olympic sport in the future. It's an art form. Should it be denounced because performers don't wear much? Do you cover your eyes when you watch diving events and figure skating?" said one user.
"Is that a flag pole? If it is, this problem's serious," another Weibo user quipped.