Kindergarten teacher who asked pupil to strip was sexually abused when young

SINGAPORE - The former kindergarten teacher who has been placed on probation after asking a five-year-old girl to remove her clothes has been revealed to have been sexually abused by her father when she was young.

Shin Min Daily News reported that it was one of the factors the judge took into consideration when sentencing her to 21 months of probation for the act.

According to a previous report, the 26-year-old teacher from a PAP Community Foundation Education Centre had asked the girl to remove her clothes and stand naked in front of her classmates in a classroom on Aug 15, 2011.

The teacher also swung the girl against a whiteboard, causing her to hit her head against it. The teacher is also accused of pushing her young victim on two occasions in July last year, once causing her to fall on a basket of toys and, on another occasion, causing her to fall and hit her forehead on a wooden shelf.

She has since been fired.

Shin Min reported that after the incident, the teacher felt extremely remorseful and wrote a letter to the child's parents to apologise. This was also one of the mitigating factors the judge considered when handing out the sentence.

In his grounds of decision, the judge said that although the offence is a serious one that would normally merit a jail sentence, this particular case was "no ordinary case".

This is because the teacher herself had suffered "unspeakable" abuse for a long time by a person who was supposed to have been protecting her.

Her father was later jailed for 14 years and she was diagnosed as suffering from untreated depression. According to a psychological report presented to the court, victims of long-term abuse may sometimes replicate the same scenario experienced by the victim.

The judge said he feels she should be given a second chance, and ordered her to perform 40 hours of community service as one of the conditions of the probation and continue to undergo psychiatric and psychological treatment.

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