A church kindergarten and nursery placed a help-wanted advertisement in a major English-language newspaper in Hong Kong seeking a “Caucasian” — and “loving and kind-hearted” — part-time English teacher.
The Mission Covenant Church Sister Annie’s Kindergarten and Nursery placed the ad in the South China Morning Post on Sept. 12 and Sept. 19, reports the Hong Kong Free Press. (The ad also ran continuously at the Post’s cpjobs.com.)
“English Teacher (Part-time),” the classified ad announced in boldface type. Then: “With a loving and kind-hearted personality, experience and Caucasian. 8-9 hours each week at HK$250-$280 per hour.” (In U.S. dollars, the rate on offer is $32 to $36 per hour.)
A spokesman for the church blamed the ad on a language mix-up.
“I called the kindergarten and talked to the principal and was told that they just misused the word for a ‘native English-speaking teacher,” Mission Covenant Church Yeung Lap Yan told the Free Press. “Unfortunately they put ‘Caucasian’ on the advert.”
On the church’s Facebook page, Yan issued an apologetic explanation on Wednesday.
“It has come to our attention that one of our kindergartens has inadvertently used an inappropriate word in its advertisement for English teacher, causing feedback and concern,” the Facebook post reads. “As a matter of fact, the kindergarten is recruiting a Native-English-Speaking Teacher.”
The ad at cpjobs.com was hastily removed and will be replaced with a corrected version.
“Our church and our organizations have absolutely no intention to discriminate against any ethnic groups in our staff recruitment. Our faith will not, and does not, allow or tolerate discrimination of any forms,” Yan’s Facebook post also explains. “We heartily apologize.”
An anti-discrimination law in Hong Kong prevents all employers from discriminating or harassing based on race, the Free Press notes.
The Mission Covenant Church of Hong Kong was founded by the Mission Covenant Church of Norway in 1993. The overarching church has established 11 churches in Hong Kong as well as four kindergartens, a government-funded grade school and a nursing home.
The Mission Covenant Church of Norway is an evangelical and missionary denomination founded in 1884.