Greater Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu (陳菊) yesterday pledged to discipline school administrators who conceal or delay reports of school violence.
“We require that schools report all incidences of bullying immediately. Anyone found to have concealed or delayed such reports or who fails to deal with related cases will be severely punished. No one is immune,” Chen said.
However, to prevent schools from turning bullying reports into a competition, Chen said principals or schools will not receive a better performance review just because more bullying cases are reported.
Schools will be rewarded if they take the initiative to curb bullying, she added.
Chen called a provisional meeting yesterday morning to coordinate anti-bullying measures taken by different government branches in the wake of increased media focus on the subject of bullying between students and even students and teachers, prompting educational officials, civic groups and politicians across party lines to express concern and propose countermeasures.
Chen proposed raising school bullying from an issued dealt with by campus security to a public order issue, placing the city’s anti-bullying campaign directly under the supervision of the mayor.
Chen also ordered that the city’s Bureau of Education establish an anti-bullying commission.
In related news, a student at Taipei Municipal Jianguo High School jumped from the third floor of a school building yesterday morning. The student died after being rushed to the hospital.
The incident happened at around 9am when the student surnamed Ti (底), who was in the second year of one of the nation’s top high schools, asked his teacher for a toilet break, only to be found by the teacher and his classmates minutes later lying in a pool of blood having leaped from the third floor in an apparent suicide attempt. Hsu Chien-kuo (徐建國), director of academic affairs at the school, told the press that the student had been suffering from anxiety since the beginning of this semester.
According to Hsu, the student had been receiving counseling and taking medication.
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An advertisement displayed in the corridor of the underground Taipei City Mall has caused contention online with social media users saying that it depicts Taiwanese bears as servants of Chinese pandas. The advertisement — which imitates the style of an ancient Chinese painting, but replaces people with bears — shows a scene in imperial China, with Formosan black bears laboring, while pandas relax and enjoy beverages. “The development of the tourism industry is important, but this type of targeted advertising is extremely disrespectful — and it makes people uncomfortable,” Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Taipei City Councilor Chen E-jun (陳怡君) said. The advertisement, under