Response from the teacher who told student off for shouting at Ma Ying-jeou
Following news reports on the teacher (Ms Chou, Li-li)’s treatment of Su, the student who shouted at Ma Ying-jeou, Taipei City Councillor, Chien Yuyen, wrote a letter to Headmaster of Jianguo Senior High School to ask for explanations for the whole incident. In his reply, Headmaster, Mr Tsai, reiterated that he did not tell Ms Chou to tell Su off and maintained that he never expected the student to be punished for speaking up. He maintained that the reason he asked Ms Chou to talk to Su was to find out whether the student was teased or alienated by other students and make sure he was OK. He argued that Ms Chou did talk to Su individually the day before she ‘talked to’ the whole class and the reason for her ‘talk’ was genuine concern about what the whole class felt [about the incident]. Mr Tsai told the Councillor that Ms Chou was simply doing her job and meant well but following the huge public concern, he already told Ms Chou to deal with the misunderstanding and repair her relationship with her students. The school will also remind all the teachers to avoid commenting on political issues in the classroom.
Ms Chou has also offered written explanations for her reaction on Su’s behaviour. She denied preaching political views to the student or penalise anyone due to their difference political beliefs. She said that
I simply felt the President was a guest and an alumnus and the students should show him respect rather than being rude to him. I hope that the students maintain the school’s good reputation and work hard to improve their academic performance, physical strength and creativity rather than solely focus on politics because they are so young that their energy should be directed to their intellectual and inner development. I did not mean any harm to the students but perhaps because I see them all as my own children, my words were direct rather than carefully chosen and led to this huge uproar. I would like to emphasise that my action was not based on my political stance but a well-meaning guidance to those children.
Well, I don’t know where to begin. The teacher clearly does not show insight into what was wrong and the headmaster doesn’t seem much better. Neither of them accepts responsibilities nor shows realisation that her behaviour was unprofessional and bordered on child emotional abuse. How many teachers are like this (pro-KMT and authoritarian) in Taiwan? Why are they like this? What made them the way they are? Given the importance of education to any society, how much do they contribute to what Taiwan is like at the moment?