The principal of a childcare centre at Block 509, Bedok North Avenue 3, Ryan Choo, has been accused of beating an 8-year-old boy’s backside seven times with a wooden ruler over an alleged mistake. The child’s parents have lodged a police report against Choo – an ex-TCS actor who has appeared in small supporting roles in Channel 8 dramas.
Choo runs the Star Kidz Powerclub childcare centre in Bedok, along with two female teachers. The incident involves a boy who has been attending the centre from 1.30pm to 7pm from Mondays to Fridays, every week for the past three years.
Last Saturday evening (3 Feb), the boy was showering after swimming when his father found red marks on his buttocks. When the boy’s mother questioned him about it, the child claimed that a teacher at the childcare centre beat him for ‘talking in class’ but did not elaborate.
The boy’s mother, Llva Chin, told reporters that she immediately contacted the boy’s teacher and sent her photos of the marks on her son’s backside via WhatsApp. The teacher, Ms Sim, called Chin and revealed that the boy had been beaten by Choo as punishment for opening a toilet door while a girl was inside.
Sim hung up after telling Chin that she would check on the matter. Chin subsequently received a phone call from Choo that same night, who claimed that he had punished the child to pacify the girl’s upset parents. Choo added that he beat Chin’s son because he was afraid that the girl’s parents would take matters into their own hands.
Chin, however, found out that her son did not deliberately open the toilet door. On the day of the incident (Wed, 31 Jan), Chin’s son had been playing hide and seek with other children at the centre when he opened the door to a shared toilet, thinking one of his friends was hiding inside.
Unfortunately, a girl was inside the cubicle relieving herself. As Chin’s son opened the door, the girl cried and asked for her parents. As punishment for opening the door, Choo allegedly asked the boy to bend over a table before beating him on the backside seven times with a wooden ruler.
Chin asked: “Although he (Mr Choo) told us that it was to pacify the girl’s parents, we never heard from her parents since the incident, nor did they go to the centre. My son really just did it with no ill intentions, does it warrant a punishment like this?”
Chin visited the centre to confront Choo on Monday, 5 Feb, where Choo identified the girl that Chin’s son had walked in on. Choo only repeated that he had hit Chin’s son with a wooden ruler but did not appear to offer any explanations as to why he did not inform Chin or her husband of what had happened.
Chin lamented: “My son was hit on his backside for seven times! How can he not tell us after doing that?”
Chin lodged a police report against Choo on Tuesday, 6 Feb. The police spokesman confirmed, “The police confirm that a report was lodged. Investigations are ongoing.”
According to the Chinese daily, Chin pulled her son out of the childcare centre. She added that it took her son one week to recover from the beating.
Reporters apparently tried reaching out to Choo who at first said that he needed to think about what he could share. He did not answer subsequent phone calls but reporters managed to get in touch with Sim who shared that the centre did not have any way to contact the principal.
Sim later admitted that she could get in touch with Choo and said that she would let him know that the media was trying to reach him for comment. She added that Choo is a good person who had just made a mistake and that he was presently unable to make comments as he was drowsy on medication.
Choo then contacted the reporter and said that he would be willing to give comments after his drowsiness wore off the next afternoon, only to decline making a comment when contacted the next day.