Jun 29, 2017 Culture Comments Off on Protesters seek stricter punishment for teacher who assaulted student
Taipei--A group of about 20 parents and students protested in front of the Ministry of Education on Thursday, demanding stricter punishment for a teacher who was caught on video assaulting a female student in his class last month.
The protesters held up white banners that read "Good teachers bring a nation to power. Unfit teachers harm the nation. Ministry of Education save our children!" and expressed outrage that Lee Tung-chun (???), a lecturer from National Taiwan College of Performing Arts, was not fired following the assault.
"Lee Tung-chun kicked the female student like he was kicking a sandbag... but he was only given a major demerit," said Tai Shih-hsiang (???), a parent and a representative of the protesters.
He alleged that Lee received only a major demerit because other teachers were protecting him.
Meanwhile, a student protester said that once a teacher uses corporal punishment, he or she can use it again, but no one wants to be kicked and no students should be treated this way.
Surveillance footage from the school shows 36-year-old Lee, who teaches Hakka opera at the college, kicking a female student in the stomach and back five times before slapping her head during a class rehearsal.
The kicks were so forceful they sent the student flying across the floor.
The incident was widely reported by the local media and caused public outrage, forcing the teacher to issue a public apology in May.
In response to the protest on Thursday, Chiu Tung-po (???), director of the Office of Personnel at the Ministry of Education's K-12 Education Administration, said schools are responsible for the discipline of teachers and are not required to forward their decisions to the ministry for approval.
The ministry, however, will contact the school and look into the situation, Chiu said.
In a telephone interview later that day, Wang Hsueh-yen (???), chief secretary of the college, said the teacher evaluation committee at the college found that Lee did not injure the student and therefore it is not a reason to find him unfit for his job.
The decision to give Lee a major demerit was made by a teacher performance evaluation committee, the chairperson of the committee being chosen by the school's teachers association, he said.
"It is not something the school can intervene in," Wang said.
He said the school did not favor one side over the other when handling the incident and everything was dealt with according to the existing review mechanism.
As for whether Lee will continue to teach next semester, Wang said that is a determination to be made by Lee's department, the Department of Hakka Opera.
Corporal punishment is illegal in Taiwan, according to the country's Educational Fundamental Act. Teachers who use corporal punishment can be punished administratively by receiving demerits.
However, if the victim of such an incident chooses to file a complaint with the police, it could also be investigated as a criminal case of assault.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel
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