Alpais Lam Wai-sze
Alpais Lam Wai-sze, a teacher at Pui Ling School of the Precious Blood in Fanling, sparked a protest in Mong Kok on August 4, 2013, after a viral video from July 14 showed her shouting profanity at police officers. In the clip, Lam was seen openly criticising the way the police were handling a confrontation between the Falun Gong and the Youth Care Association. Lam has taught for 18 years and won the Chief Executive's Award for Teaching Excellence in the 2010/2011 academic year.
Report on teacher's clash with police to be 'factual and impartial'
Alpais Lam and her school unlikely to face serious consequences for Mong Kok melee as government seeks to put fuss to bed
The Education Bureau will complete a confidential report on a teacher's verbal abuse of police officers before the new school year starts in two weeks, as the government is eager to end the row that has divided public opinion, administration sources say.
A source familiar with the case said the authorities would not ask the primary school in Fanling that employs teacher Alpais Lam Wai-sze to take further action before the report was completed.
The upcoming report would be "factual and impartial", the source said.
Another source said the report was meant for the government's internal use only and would not be made public.
Its conclusions were unlikely to lead to "any significant consequences" for the teacher or the school, the Pui Ling School of the Precious Blood, he said.
The bureau had not summoned anyone from the school for a hearing to help put together the report, the source said. "We do not want the school to feel any external pressure," he added.
Lam has so far faced no disciplinary action and is not expected to be deregistered as a teacher, as such punishment would apply only if a criminal offence had been committed.
The report was ordered by Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying on Sunday in response to controversy triggered by a video clip showing Lam shouting abuse at police officers over their handling of a dispute between Falun Gong supporters and opponents in Mong Kok last month.
What looked like a simple case escalated into a heated debate, with some blaming the teacher for setting a bad example while others supported her and accused the police of not being impartial. Ten days ago, hundreds of people from both sides rallied in a pedestrianised zone in Mong Kok, leading to a stand-off that degenerated into a melee.
Leung's ordering of a report on Lam only raised tensions. Some people accused him of overreacting and suspected the report would be used to punish the teacher. Police unions, however, supported the move.
A person close to Leung said the chief executive had taken a tough stance over the case because he did not want to be perceived as weak or easily giving in under pressure.
"Leung and his government would be seen as weak if he did not tackle the controversy head-on," said the person. "To maintain [effective] governance, he has no choice but to back the police to the hilt."
By ordering a report on Lam, Leung had shown support for a police force increasingly frustrated by the bad press it has received. The chief executive, whose father was a police officer, said on Sunday that the force had defended public order in a "fair, neutral and unbiased" manner.
Leung's gesture was welcomed by members of the force.
Junior Police Officers' Association chairman Chan Cho-kwong said yesterday: "We welcome Leung's remarks. We cannot comment further but the frontline officers fully acknowledge the necessary political neutrality."
Another police union member said Leung's move was positively received within the force.
"It boosted morale, which has been seriously affected in recent months by the swearing incident and the pay issue," he said, referring to a pay rise announced in June which police unions called an "insult".