Wed, Feb 22, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Ex-student to file suit against Hwa Kang Arts School

‘SHOW TRIAL’:Chou Tzu-yu was given demerits and suspended after criticizing an election process and a scheduled performance by Chinese pop star Lu Han

By Sean Lin  /  Staff reporter

The Humanistic Education Foundation yesterday said that it would help former Hwa Kang Arts School student Chou Tzu-yu (周子愉) file an administrative lawsuit against the school, accusing it of giving him demerits and putting him under suspension in retaliation for taking an active interest in school affairs.

Humanist Education Foundation executive director Joanna Feng (馮喬蘭) told a news conference in Taipei that Chou, who has been advocating the establishment of a student union at the school in Taipei, last year criticized what he called an “opaque” student representative election process.

Chou also took issue with a collaboration between the school and Chinese pop star Lu Han (鹿唅), who last year was due to perform in a variety show at the school, despite not having obtained a work permit, prompting Chou to urge Lu on Facebook to obey the Taiwanese law, Feng said.

The performance was canceled when the National Immigration Agency intervened, and Lu was deported and barred from entering the nation for two years.

Chou was handed three major demerits and two demerits for his remarks which, according to a notice issued by Hwa Kang, had “seriously tarnished the school’s reputation,” Feng said, adding that he had also been suspended.

“The school simply decided that Lu’s deportation was a direct result of my actions,” Chou said. “According to due procedure, the school should have summoned me so that I could defend myself, but it gave me the demerits straight away.”

Footage shown by the foundation showed Hwa Kang Arts School principal Ting Yung-ching (丁永慶) calling Chou a “politicalholic” telling students gathered at the school’s gate: “We do not want a ‘politician’ like him attending this school.”

“He does not deserve to be a student at Hwa Kang,” Ting said.

Ting’s “bullying” of Chou was no different from a “show trial” and she had failed in her responsibilities as a principal, Feng said.

Ting said the footage was part of an open apology she had made to students who had worked hard to prepare for Lu’s performance, as their efforts had gone to waste.

The demerits imposed on Chou were irrelevant to his remarks about Lu, she said, adding that she expected the High Administrative Court would put the events into perspective.

The Taipei Department of Education said it had requested that the school assemble an evaluation committee to review whether the punishments imposed on Chou were appropriate.

The committee upheld the punishments.

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