Fri, Mar 08, 2013 - Page 3 News List

Parents accuse teacher of abuse

By Alison Hsiao  /  Staff reporter

Members of the Humanist Education Foundation hold a press conference in Taipei yesterday, accusing a teacher in the National Taichung Special Education School for the Hearing Impaired of administering corporal punishment, among other allegations.

Photo: Chen Chih-chu, Taipei Times

Students with special educational needs at the National Taichung School for Students with Hearing Impairments are constantly physically assaulted by teachers, the Humanistic Education Foundation said yesterday.

Video footage was shown at a press conference depicting a teacher, surnamed Liao (廖), bawling at and eventually slapping a student across the face.

The foundation and the student’s mother, who was also present at the press conference, said it was not the first time that Liao had subjected her students to corporal punishment.

Not only has the student in the video been slapped more than once, other students have also received similar treatment, been hit on the head with a textbook and kicked by Liao, they said.

“Some would say this is a case of poor anger management and improper discipline on the teacher’s part, but we don’t buy that. Liao’s students are also the victims of verbal abuse. A lot of them are often scolded for ‘not bringing their brain to school,’” Humanistic Education Foundation executive director Joanna Feng (馮喬蘭) said.

“Liao once told the class that they were ‘like this because there is something wrong with your parents.’ We must say, this is not improper discipline — this is torture and discrimination,” Feng said.

The school principal has reportedly seen the video, but decided not to fire the teacher, who was instead sanctioned with two demerits and discharged from her position.

The foundation said Liao’s behavior was not an anomaly at the school.

An elementary-school student is said to have suffered from a teacher’s pinching and beating, while a high-school student was slapped across the face and on another occasion fiercely pushed against a wall by a dormitory supervisor, the foundation said.

Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) called on the Ministry of Education to step in and set up an investigation of the school and hold the guilty accountable.

He questioned the quality of the special education provided by the school and asked for a thorough examination of government policies concerning special education, indicating that while the accused school is designed for those with hearing impairments, it has nevertheless also admitted students who are mentally challenged in order to boost student recruitment in an era of low birth rates.

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