The Cabinet yesterday approved amendments to spare teachers involved in misconduct from being deprived of their right to teach for the rest of their life, but the ban on teachers involved in sexual assault and severe bullying remains in place.
Under the amendments to the Teacher’s Act (教師法) and the Act for Hiring of Educational Personnel (教育人員任用條例), the state will allow the reinstatement of suspended teachers if they correct their behavior in four years.
The amendments have to be approved by the legislature.
According to the Ministry of Education, a total of 239 teachers were dismissed for misconduct between August 1995 and September last year, 155 of whom were involved in offenses related to sexual abuse.
The amendment follows a Council of Grand Justices ruling in July last year which stated in Interpretation No. 702 that the deprivation of the right to teach was not proportionate to misconduct that is less severe than sexual assault or severe bullying.
The grand justices ordered that revisions be made to address the issue within one year of the interpretation, or the rules will automatically become null and void.
A former teacher in a public senior school surnamed Wu requested a constitutional interpretation after he was fired for having sex with a college student. He turned to the grand justices after his appeal against his dismissal was rejected by an administrative court.
A ministry official, Chen Chia-shih (陳家士), said that teachers could be found guilty of misconduct if they engage in theft or sex or gender-related behavior that makes the other person feel uncomfortable.