Yeung pushes case for teacher suspensions
Teachers arrested for serious offenses, including rioting, should be suspended from teaching even if not charged, Secretary for Education Kevin Yeung Yun-hung said.
That should be part and parcel of schools giving priority to students' interests when confronted with a situation where a teacher has been arrested, he told lawmakers yesterday.
Yeung said the Education Bureau has issued letters and guidelines to schools to clarify the basic principles for handling arrested teaching staff.
"If a teacher is suspected of a serious crime, the school should also assess the risk involved should the teacher continue to be in contact with students, even if the case or the incident is not yet concluded," he said.
"Specifically, if a teacher is involved in a serious offense related to personal safety, such as arson, serious wounding or rioting, or an offense generally considered to be a serious violation of moral standards, such as a sexual offense or drug trafficking, schools should handle the case in a prudent manner and suspend the teacher," he added.
Yeung also said schools should examine the nature and seriousness of the cases involving teachers who were arrested but not charged, and consider whether it is appropriate to allow them to continue with their teaching duties.
"Regardless of whether an arrested teacher is convicted or not, the EDB will, upon completion of all the legal proceedings, review the registration status of the teacher concerned," he said.
"If the EDB deems the teacher to no longer be a fit and proper person to be a teacher, we will cancel the teacher's registration."
From mid-June 2019 to the end of last year, the EDB received a total of 269 complaints about suspected professional misconduct by teachers in relation to the social unrest, Yeung said.
The EDB has largely completed investigations for 244 of the cases and 95 of them were unsubstantiated.
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