A kindergarten in Yangzhou, Jiangsu Province, has been charging parents 80 yuan a month for teachers to hug their children twice a day, according to the Yangtze Evening Post.
The story was broken by a Jiangsu blogger, who posted online that his friend’s daughter was attending the Shangmao Kindergarten, where the school charged an 80 yuan monthly ‘hugging fee’. If parents paid up, teachers would hug the children as they arrived in the morning and again as they left in the afternoon.
The kindergarten apparently claimed that the hugs would give the kids confidence and put them in a good mood during school.
As if this story wasn’t weird enough to begin with, teachers were apparently billing parents for embracing their children without their knowledge, disguising it as a “quality education fee” (maybe they just really like hugs?).
The district education bureau has launched an investigation into the allegations and promises to return the money to parents if it is proved that they were charged to have their kids hugged.
There is really no good way to look at this. Either a teacher was scamming parents and hugging their kids for some creepy reason of his own; or parents were willingly outsourcing the hugging of their children to someone else.