Fri, Feb 25, 2011 - Page 3 News List

Stricter penalties for concealment of assault proposed

Staff Writer

The Ministry of Education (MOE) yesterday passed a revision to a law aimed at handing out stricter punishment for wilful concealment of sexual harassment or assault on campus.

Teachers guilty of such actions will face dismissal and fines if such behavior is not reported within 24 hours, according to the proposed revision.

Although the Gender Equity Education Act (性別平等教育法) stipulated that teaching staff were responsible for reporting such actions, it made no time provisions and did not impose any fines, Deputy Minister of Education Wu Tsai-shung (吳財順) said.

The revision states that reports must be filed within 24 hours or, depending on the circumstances of delay, staff would face fines of between NT$30,000 to NT$150,000.

“Teaching staff willfully concealing such acts, destroying, altering, or falsifying evidence will be punished by dismissal or removal from their post,” Wu said.

In light of several recent cases of students harassing teachers, Wu said that if one party of the sexual assault or harassment is a student, according to the Gender Equity Education Act, it should be reported.

The ministry hoped to pass the draft law to the Executive Yuan, then on to the Legislative Yuan in order to speedily pass it, he added.

In related news, allegations that a male recipient of the Teaching Excellence Award in an unnamed junior high school in New Taipei City had previously been accused of sexually harassing a female student have been confirmed as true.

The New Taipei City government agreed to the school’s dismissal of the teacher, and retracted his award.

The ministry said the New Taipei City Education Bureau should list the teacher as unfit for teaching.

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