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  • Dec 27, 2014
  • Updated: 2:58pm

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.

NewsHong Kong

School issues formal penalty to rude teacher who triggered Mong Kok protests

Board takes action against Alpais Lam for 'damaging school's reputation' with attack on police but asks public to give her second chance

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 22 August, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 22 August, 2013, 12:50pm

The teacher who shouted abuse at police officers in Mong Kok and triggered a political and social frenzy will be penalised, her school board said yesterday.

And the Education Bureau has already met and issued Alpais Lam Wai-sze with an official penalty notice. The school refused to reveal the details of the penalty, citing privacy reasons, but Lam said her contract with the school would not be affected.

A primary school teacher at Pui Ling School of the Precious Blood, Lam triggered huge media interest when a video of her swearing at police officers over their handling of a dispute between Falun Gong and the pro-Beijing group Youth Care Association was circulated online.

"As Lam's inappropriate behaviour severely damaged the professional image of teachers as well as our school's reputation, the committee decided to penalise the teacher and report it to the bureau," the school management committee said in a statement. It said the school regretted Lam's behaviour and hoped she would issue another apology.

It also called on the public to give Lam a second chance since she had already apologised to the school, students and parents and promised there would be no repeat of the incident. And it asked that the school be left alone.

"Our school has been bombarded with calls, e-mails and letters about this and our colleagues have been really busy dealing with them. It's time to stop. Please let our school get back to its normal operation," it said.

The school's statement came 11 days after Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying's remarks in his first town hall meeting, where he urged the education minister to submit a report on Lam's case.

Lam, who won a top award for teaching in 2011, said she would accept any penalties and was sorry for all the pressure placed on the school. But last night on her Facebook page, she appeared to be pondering her future. "To quit, or not to quit?" she wrote. "I used to have a contribution to make. Why am I being treated like this? … What's the use in staying?" An hour later she had amassed 200 comments, most of them urging her to stay in the job.

A penalty might range from a verbal and written warning to dismissal, depending on the severity of the case, said education sector lawmaker Ip Kin-yuen.

An Education Bureau spokesman said the bureau respected the school's decision and urged the public to stop sending e-mails to the school and making calls "for the students' sake".

Lam's father, Lam Sum-shing, believed it was the pressure from Leung that led to the school's decision.

A source close the government said the bureau would summarise and analyse the documents handed to them by the school and believed the report could be submitted to Leung by the end of this month.



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This article is now closed to comments

For sure not? Why for sure not? Have you witnessed Ms Lam in the classroom? Didn't I read somewhere (?) that she had won an award/commendation for her work recently? Why can she not be a passionate demonstrator in her own time and a dedicated, professional teacher of young children when she is at work? Your prejudice and presumption do you no credit, Camel. For the time being, we are all innocent until proven guilty.
How is she a hero ? Vulgar, abusive, obscene towards civil servants who are trying to maintain law & order. Basically doing their job. Teachers are suppose to be role models - if she is made out to be a hero, what examples would it shows students ?
She made a mistake, got fined, move on.
Ms Lam wasn't at the demonstration to represent her pupils, her colleagues, her school or her profession. She was there as a private citizen in her own time to exercise her right to free speech guaranteed by the Basic Law. It is regrettable that Ms Lam has said she will accept any penalty. Anybody know the legal basis for her having been issued with a penalty, please? It's the school committee that needs a second chance. Personally I'd tell them to stick their penalty where the sun don't shine.
I feel quite sorry for the teacher, Ms. Lam. This entire case is really quite overblown. It is such a surprise she is not a hero but rather a villain. The real issue here is the unquestioned notion that figures of authority should never be questioned.
Asian culture remains in an ivory tower, seeming to care more for the superficial (words) than the substantial (actions). Maybe if 1000 more teachers did the same, this nonsensical "taboo" behavior will become accepted by the mainstream. Only then will we be able to enjoy freedom of expression without the shackles of self-imposed self-censorship.
The question is whether she is suitable to teach primary children about manners and behavior and with her behavior shown puplic for sure not.
there is no government pressure need for this. It is the pressure of a parent who is caring for the education of his children hoping that the children are not yelling, insulting and using bad words to shout in public or at their parents.
And even more she was supporting a group the masters in Beijing have banned and challenging the police in their perceived preferred treatment of a pro-Beijing group attacking those who Beijing hates. Funny how that goes. How can the government in hk allow her to say things the masters hate?
i like SCMP articles always containing supplementary info about the report. however, i am wondering why it didnt mention Lam and her father are members of a radical political group? which the pronunciation of the name of that group is very similar to a long phrase of cantonese foul language.
There's a fine line between self-censorship and self-restraint. If 1000 more teachers did the same, I think you'd have anarchy on your hands in the next generation.


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