Sat, Jan 04, 2014 - Page 3 News List

School accused of abuse

FLOODGATES:Fresh claims have surfaced after the mother of a student with special needs accused a Greater Tainan school of physically abusing her child

By Alison Hsiao  /  Staff reporter

A mother of a student with special needs yesterday accused a special education school in Greater Tainan of covering up the abusive punishments that her daughter suffered at the hands of her teachers.

The claim came just days after a similar accusation was leveled at the school.

A parent of a student with learning difficulties on Monday held a press conference alongside Democratic Progressive Party (DDP) legislators and Humanistic Education Foundation representatives to say that her son was mistreated at National Tainan Special School.

She said he was beaten by the teacher on the chest and strangled, and was later diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Another mother spoke out yesterday, accompanied by DDP lawmakers and the foundation’s director. She told a press conference held in Taipei that she was encouraged by the previous story and was determined to disclose the matter.

The mother, surnamed Tsai (蔡), said her daughter, who was a student at the institution’s vocational school, had two operations on a broken arm caused by a teacher in 2012, offering the relevant medical reports as proof.

She chose to remain quiet about the injury, she said, as she was reluctant to ruin the career of a professionally trained special education teacher.

However, four months later, her daughter came home with bruised and swollen thighs and buttocks, holding “a note to the parents that the student needed ‘rigorous punishment,’” she said.

“The then-school director asked me to forgive the teacher, saying he was not married and did not have children,” Tsai said.

The girl was subsequently required by the school to sit in a specially made wooden chair to restrict her mobility.

“The school later moved the teacher from the senior-high school to the junior-high school without initiating any investigation into the incident,” DDP Legislator Chen Chieh-ju (陳節如) said.

The foundation said that after the father of the student filed a complaint, he was called in by the Ministry of Education and asked to forgive the teacher.

DDP Legislator Chen Ting-fei (陳亭妃) demanded that the ministry investigate the incident immediately.

The allegation was denied by a ministry official present at the press conference, who said administrative records show that the ministry “had followed due procedures for the claim of abuse, giving demerit points and demoting the perpetrator.”

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