Civic groups yesterday urged the Ministry of Education (MOE) to bring in social workers to schools to provide counseling for problematic students.
The call came in the wake of recent allegations that the former principal of Taoyuan County’s Bade Junior High School, Wu Chia-ku (於家穀), repeatedly turned a blind eye to the worsening safety situation at her school.
Vita Yeh (葉大華), secretary-general of the Taiwan Alliance for Advancement of Youth Rights and Welfare, told a press conference yesterday that formulating an anti-bullying law or isolating bullies would not help solve the problem.
Yeh called on the government to earmark between NT$1 billion (US$33.5 million) and NT$2 billion every year to recruit school social workers or guidance counselors.
Garden of Hope Foundation executive director Chi Hui-jung (紀惠容), who also attended the conference, said social workers can help schools seek the resources they need to deal with bullying.
The National Teachers Association also issued a statement, saying that local and foreign movies and the adult world have misled teenagers into believing that they can overwhelm other people with physical or verbal violence while failing to teach them the potential legal consequences they could face.
The association called on the ministry to oblige schools to fully explain related legal -responsibilities to students as soon as students enroll in the schools and refer those who have committed an offense to prosecutors.
Meanwhile, some students at Bade Junior High School reportedly threw firecrackers at a teacher when the teacher went to the toilet on Tuesday despite Minister of Education Wu Ching-ji’s (吳清基) surprise visit there that day.
Acting principal Tai Chin-ming (戴進明) said the accused students did not admit any wrongdoing, but Tai vowed to probe the allegation.