A little girl is standing in the cold at the door of the kindergarten class and screams. She begs her teacher to let her inside, she shouts for her mum. She is just 4 years old. She wears just a pink dress, no coat or anorak in a freezing day. The teacher at the kindergarten in Halkida had set her in the courtyard for “punishment” because she was ..naughty. As the girl keeps screaming, the other children in the classroom are terrified. Some tell later their parents that “they closed their ears with their hands” because they could not hear their classmate screaming. A horror scene in Greece of 2021.
A passerby, a mother who also has her child in the same kindergarten. hears the screams. The takes her mobile and films the heartbreaking and inhumane scene.
The incident took place last Tuesday, Jan 26, when a icy cold front was sweeping throughout the country.
The mother goes inside and demands explanations. The teacher claims that the 4-year-old was naughty, had a seizure and was out of control, had attacked the other children, kicked the teacher and out the face mask inside her mouth.
Apparently, the child informed her parents about the brutal punishment, the teacher apologized.
However, the parents of other children at 1st Agios Mikolaos kindergarten in Halkida were not satisfied with the way the incident was closed and “buried.” They demanded explanations by the education authorities.
Ultimately, the video is then sent to news website zougla.gr by another mother who denounces also other violent incidents towards her own 4-year-old son by different kindergarten teachers.
Aphrodite Panagakou told zougla.gr that the latest one took place this week: her son came home with a “hand pressure mark on his neck.”
Panagakou is considering to file a report to the Education authorities saying that such brutal behavior on the side of the kindergarten teachers must be investigated.
Until the highly concerned mother files her report, the Education Ministry ordered internal investigation on the incident with the little girl on Saturday after the video was also broadcast by Ant1 TV on prime time news on Friday.
Tweet by Education Minister Niki Kerameos
Σε συνέχεια χθεσινού δημοσιεύματος για περιστατικό σε νηπιαγωγείο της Χαλκίδας με 4χρονο κοριτσάκι, κινητοποιήθηκε αμέσως ο διοικητικός μηχανισμός της εκπαίδευσης και διατάχθηκε ΕΔΕ. Ζήτησα από το Δ/ντή ΠΕ να διερευνηθεί σε βάθος κάθε πτυχή της καταγγελίας.https://t.co/2XyVDSQMhj
— Niki Kerameus (@nkerameus) January 30, 2021
Speaking to zougla.gr website, the teacher who “punished” the little girl by setting it in the cold courtyard admitted the incidedent, described that the child was out of control and said that “I set it out of the door and kept talking to her to calm her down. Right away I called her mother.”
She admitted “certainly my behavior was extreme, but I had to protect the other children.”
She added that she toalked with the girl’s parents about “the next steps to improve the child.”
Regarding the mother who shot the footage, the teacher said “she may have revenge behavior” against her.
Meanwhile, other kindergarten teachers told zougla that this was an issue of “special sensitivity.” They said that the root of the problem lays in the fact that there is no support whatsoever to teachers who may be confronted with behavior problems of children.
There should be a separate room to isolate a child with behavior problems at the time of an incident or the help by a second kindergarten teachers.
Teachers need support. It is true. When that is not available from the management, teachers can work together. Arrange with the teacher in the next class a system whereby each can send a child for “time out” to the other class. Always with some little activity or task to complete. Kindness wins rather than confrontation. Remove a child from the situation, there is always a reason why a little one is “out of control” Teachers should get together and work out strategies to prevent any child getting into a frenzied state. This comes with good basic teacher training , but there is no excuse for unkindness in any adult who agrees to take on a class of children whether they are trained or not. The truth is some people are born to be carers in their profession, others may have qualities for other tasks but any of us entrusted to the care of children or elderly must have a proven good record, this way abuse will not occur.
Cruelty to children can be traced sometimes to personal trauma and disorders in the adult. children should not have to pay the price for that. Such a person should not be employed in a caring role if this applies to them.
These incidents of cruelty cause untold long-term damage in the tender mind and heart of a little child.
No matter what, this is children abuse! All kids have moments when they are “out of their minds” and do stupid things but you can not punish a 4 year old like this! I hope the teachers get some very neccesary education in how to handle small kids!!
Given that the child is reported to have had a seizure, it seems quite possible that the incident involved a medical condition (e.g. epilepsy) rather than some kind of extreme tantrum. The kicking would support that. A four year-old girl would not generally have the capacity or intention to attack her classmates. While the life of a teacher is not easy and we cannot expect them all to have medical training, seizures are not uncommon or difficult to spot. I’d urge the mother to seek medical advice, and not to worry as it’s not automatically a big deal.
This is abusive behaviour by the teacher. Whatever the child is reported to have done she is 4 and putting a young child outside in the child’s is cruel and needless. Also, the teacher is the one reporting this. I think what it shows is greater training and support is needed for all but this teacher needs to leave the profession. Anyone who can do this to a 4 year old should not be working with young children.
It seems my detailed post gently and politely suggesting (without attatching blame to anyone) the seizure referred to might indicate a medical explanation for the child’s described behaviour has been blocked. I’d appreciate an explanation as to why.