The families of nine students from a Taichung junior-high school accused a female teacher at the school of three years of emotional and physical abuse.
Representatives of the students told a news conference yesterday that they were slapped by the teacher and that one of the students, who is from a single-parent home and has a learning disability, was given soiled underwear to embarrass her in front of the class.
The underwear incident stressed the student emotionally, causing her to be absent from school for an extended period, they said.
The students waited until after graduation to speak about the abuse out of fear that their studies would be affected, they said.
They called on the Taichung Education Bureau and the school’s administration to handle the issue promptly, “before other students are victimized.”
The school said that the teacher has been employed there for 15 years and while she was described as “strict” in evaluations, March was the first time it had received complaints about her from students.
After receiving a report in April from the father of the girl who alleged the underwear incident, the school launched an investigation, it said, adding that on Sunday it formed a task force over the matter.
A representative of one of the other nine students told the news conference that they had been yelled at and slapped by the teacher.
The mother of a student from a low-income family accused the teacher of exposing their family’s private affairs to other students, while other parents said that their children had been given soiled feminine hygiene products, or half-eaten or rotten food by the teacher, apparently to insult them.
The teacher refused to use the names of several students, referring to them only by their student numbers, said Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Taichung City Councilor Hsieh Chih-chung (謝志忠), who was at the news conference.
“There is clearly a big problem with this teacher’s emotional intelligence,” Hsieh said.
“If a teacher bullies an entire class, there is a major problem with their emotional control,” he said, adding that the teacher should not be allowed to continue in that profession.
DPP Taichung City Councilor Wang Li-jen (王立任) played a recording that he said was the teacher yelling at and insulting a student.
The yelling was so loud that students in other classrooms heard it, Wang said.
Wang also criticized tutors at the school, saying that a student had to seek help elsewhere after two years of a tutoring program at the school.
The tutors told the teacher that the student had sought their help, after which the teacher insulted the student on a routine basis until graduation, he said.
Wang called on the bureau to institute a better reporting mechanism at schools, as the current system is ineffective because teachers protect their peers.
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