Tue, Jul 10, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Mother says teacher emotionally abused first-graders at a New Taipei City school

By Ho Yu-hua  /  Staff reporter

Humanist Education Foundation executive director Joanna Feng, center, and Democratic Progressive Party New Taipei City Councilor Ho Po-wen, right, attend a news conference in New Taipei City yesterday about a teacher who has allegedly emotionally abused students. The person on the left is a parent of one of the alleged victims.

Photo: CNA

A teacher surnamed Hsu (許) has allegedly emotionally abused students by encouraging an entire class to police each other and publicly criticize those who made mistakes, a parent told a news conference in New Taipei City yesterday.

After her child began showing excessive anxiety and having nightmares of being punished by the teacher, the mother began collecting evidence of the teacher’s alleged emotional abuse, she said.

She recorded the teacher’s words and reported the incident to the Humanist Education Foundation, she said, adding that the problematic teaching style has apparently caused distress among the first-grade students in the class.

In the recording, the teacher’s mocking and insulting remarks to students are often immediately followed by comments from students seconding her view, such as “you are terrible” and “don’t you dare treat the teacher like a fool,” the mother said.

One student was found to have attempted to climb a basketball stand. As punishment, the teacher held a “trial” in the class, where students collectively criticized the child for misbehaving.

“You should just go die if that’s what you want, but don’t cause us any trouble,” a student said.

Students also learned to flatter the teacher in this unhealthy environment, the mother said, adding that when multiple students were around the teacher, many would repeatedly express gratitude for her hard work and tell her how beautiful she looked.

The city’s Education Department should immediately remove the teacher from the school, she said.

New Taipei City Councilor Ho Po-wen (何博文) and Humanist Education Foundation executive director Joanna Feng (馮喬蘭) also attended the news conference.

While the teacher should no longer teach at the school, the Education Department should ensure that the school does not rehire her for a different subject, Feng said.

The department should instruct the school to provide counseling to the first-grade students, she said.

This was the first time the department had heard about the incident, and it has launched an investigation, department deputy director Huang Ching-yi (黃靜怡) said.

If the allegations are found to be true, the teacher could be fired, she said, adding that the department has instructed the school to offer individual and group counseling to the affected students.

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