A recent report that “a group of male students” had been caught masturbating in class became a hot topic at the New Taipei City council on Thursday.
Several New Taipei City councilors said during a question-and-answer session at the council that it was a reflection of the failure of the nation’s education system. Some said the teenagers could have been imitating scenes from the 2011 Taiwanese box-office hit You are the Apple of My Eye (那些年，我們一起追的女孩), directed by author Geddens Ko (柯景騰), which included a scene in which two male students masturbated in class.
New Taipei City Education Bureau chief Lin Teng-chiao (林騰蛟) told the councilors that it was an isolated case, involving only two students, and not a “group action” as was reported.
Democratic Progressive Party New Taipei City Councilor Wang Shu-hui (王淑慧) said that based on information she had gathered, the two students had been admonished by their teacher and might have done it afterward as “a show of rebellion against the teacher.”
“This incident clearly shows the unsuitability of the teacher. No matter how many students were involved, this indicates a serious problem in our schools,” she said.
According to the principal of the school, whose name was not disclosed, the incident occurred twice, in October and last month. The two students are both physical education majors.
“Thinking that no one was watching, the two students did the hand job to relieve their biological urges. They did it in the classroom, and another time in a sports training room. They were caught in the act by a teacher and were brought to the guidance counselor for counseling,” the principal said.
“To prevent such behavior, school patrols by teachers will be beefed up. Students will also be forbidden to cover their thighs with a jacket or a coat. Coats and jackets must be hung on the back of their chairs,” the principal added.
Yang Tsung-tsai (楊聰財), head of the psychiatry department at Cardinal Tien Hospital, said that adolescents are curious about sex and will imitate their peers’ behavior.
“To seek thrills and self-enjoyment, it is possible for teenagers to masturbate in a peer group. So schools and parents should guide them along through health and sexual education. However, masturbation should not be seen as ‘unhealthy,’” he said.
Additional reporting by Chen Wei-tsung