Skip to content

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?




Relevant post:

A Taiwanese school student told off and threatened by teacher for expressing his views to Ma Ying-jeou

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Vidrienne permalink
    19/12/2008 16:47

    A wonderful point you’ve brought up, ” Given the importance of education to any society, how much do they contribute to what Taiwan is like at the moment? ”

    Infact, they should be proud that students are actually speaking up. This shows that they are concern about political – social issues happening in Taiwan ( compare to the clueless ones ). Whether was lecturing or councilling the student, doing it in the public is still inappropriate approach.

    I would in turn like to question the faculty, how do you explain the difference in attitude when there were also students who shouted at Former President Chen Shui Bian?

  2. 19/12/2008 19:27

    Claudia Jean, you asked:
    – – –
    How many teachers are like this (pro-KMT and authoritarian) in Taiwan? Why are they like this? What made them the way they are?
    – – –

    A: There are way too many teachers like that. What created the situation is Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) education/brainwashing (geography classes that told students that “my country” includes Mongolia, for example, the banning of Taiwanese language in the classroom, etc.), media control, all sorts of monetary bribes, and more heavy-handed methods as well.

    But you probably knew that already.

    Even though I’m not among the “faculty,” I’d like to answer Vidrienne’s question:
    – – –
    I would in turn like to question the faculty, how do you explain the difference in attitude when there were also students who shouted at Former President Chen Shui Bian?
    – – –

    A: Well, since pro-blue teachers brought quite a few students to the redshirt rallies, we can easily see that their so-called “explanations” are really just attempts to cover up what they were seen doing. How can they possibly be “proud that students are actually speaking up” when they really ought to be ashamed of themselves?

    Tim Maddog

    • Claudia Jean permalink*
      19/12/2008 20:16

      I agree that a lot of government employees in Taiwan are blindly loyal to the KMT because of decades of brainwashing. It’s a shame that DPP wasn’t able to deal with this (I wonder how much they could do). The reason I follow this story is to bring people’s attention to the KMT ‘setup’ and how it affects the Taiwanese society and understand why Taiwanese made certain choices. I’ve seen other great bloggers have talked about media bias but probably not really looked into other sectors such as education. Hence, my attempt.

      I didn’t know the teachers taking students to join the Redshirt ‘army’… (sigh)

  3. 20/12/2008 00:42

    The above photo shown : search warrant for New Taiwan Weekly magazine reporter Chen Tsung-yi.

    Nationalist Party (KMT) government intimidating pro-democracy reporter by unlawful search his house.

    Pro-independence New Taiwan Weekly magazine news desk director Chen Tsung-yi (陳宗逸) has accused the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) government of intimidating him because of his political ideology.

    “On [Wednesday] morning, four men who identified themselves as agents from the Investigation Bureau’s Taipei City branch searched my residence in Taoyuan in relation to a corruption case after identifying themselves and showing a search warrant,” Chen said in an e-mail on Wednesday.

    The agents prevented Chen from taking pictures as they searched, and he engaged in a verbal dispute with them.

    “An agent who appeared to be the leader told me that I could be charged for interfering with official duties and asked me to delete all the pictures that I took,” Chen wrote. “I didn’t know much about the law, so I deleted the pictures.”

    During the search, Chen said the agents talked on the telephone with what seemed to be two superiors and mentioned the US-based pro-Taiwan group Formosan Association for Public Affairs (FAPA).

    “I asked them what FAPA — an overseas civic organization that promotes Taiwan independence — had to do with a corruption case. The leader said he could not reveal details about the investigation and that promoting Taiwan independence was not an issue since the nation is a democracy,” Chen said in the e-mail.

    He added that the lead agent continued to ask about FAPA and another US-based pro-independence organization, the North America Taiwanese Professors’ Association.

    “Suddenly I realized that the purge by prosecutors and the Investigation Bureau is now looking at overseas pro-independence groups and I was searched because my uncle has long served as FAPA chairman and executive director — in other words, I think this [search] was a warning to me,” Chen wrote.

    “My mother was frightened — she has worried that I will be arrested since I was in junior high school. After 20 years of the democratization of Taiwan, my mother’s nightmare may come true. I believe the curtain has just been raised and it’s time to fight,” he wrote.

    The e-mail is widely available and posted on several online forums.

    When contacted by the Taipei Times via telephone yesterday, Chen confirmed the incident, but declined to comment further.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: