A private international school in Shanghai has promised to punish its deputy principal over a textbook that featured a dirty joke. The exercise book that was dispatched to 48 eighth-graders of the SMIC Private School in Shanghai featured a joke “Mommy’s Washcloth” that compared a woman’s pubic hair to a washcloth and ended with a punchline about sexual activity. The joke, listed in a “light and funny” chapter, asked the pupils, who were aged 12 to 13, to write down what they had learned about the joke and what they felt about it as part of their English-language homework during the winter holiday. The school, which charges fees of between 50,000 and 120,000 yuan (US$7,350-US$30,000) a year, was at the centre of food safety scare in October when parents found rotten tomatoes and onions as well as expired seasoning in the kitchen used to make pupils’ meals. Shanghai school food scare triggers city wide kitchen health check The principal at the time was dismissed over the scandal. The latest incident prompted further complaints from parents and one sent the textbook to the Shanghai cultural enforcement squad. This week the Pudong educational authorities said in a statement that they had investigated the matter and found that the school had failed to check the textbook properly. “It is a serious violation of regulations and shows the chaotic management of textbooks of SMIC Private School,” the authority said. The authority later told The Beijing News that the book was not an officially approved one and had been bought by the school of its own accord. The school said in a statement that its deputy principal, who is responsible for textbooks, had been given a “severe warning” and it would improve its vetting process. The school is in the process of recalling the textbooks, which were produced by Shanghai Easter Laser Education and Culture Company. ‘Please, sir, I want some more’: Chinese school caught feeding pupils nothing more than half a bowl of noodles The publisher apologised to the school for its severe negligence. “We feel very ashamed and guilty for the severe negligence and mistake in compiling and approving the textbook,” the company said in a statement. The editor responsible for the book has been sacked and the officials in the editors department received a demerit warning. It said it would recall all copies of the book and would destroy those that were in stock.