Alpais Lam

Battle lines drawn over teacher Alpais Lam's swearing at police

Protesters to descend on Alpais Lam's school as her backers launch petition to support her

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 25 August, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 25 August, 2013, 6:38am

The government's attempts to end the controversy surrounding a teacher's swearing at police officers may fall on deaf ears.

Supporters of a radical pro-government group plan to protest next month when the school year starts, and the teacher's backers have launched a petition.

Patrick Ko Tat-pun, convenor for the Voice of Loving Hong Kong, said some of the group's supporters were dissatisfied with what they called a "lack of reflection" by Alpais Lam Wai-sze after she swore at the officers over their handling of a street dispute between Falun Gong supporters and pro-Beijing protesters.

They would hold a rally at the start of new academic year on September 2 outside Pui Ling School of the Precious Blood in Fanling, where Lam teaches.

"I think some of our supporters may have already applied to the police to hold a rally at the start of the new school year," Ko said on RTHK radio.

The school's board has issued a verbal warning to Lam, who has already apologised - though not to police - but Ko said she had shown "no sincerity to the police officers who she swore at".

Lam has said she will issue no more apologies.

Ko said: "If she remains unrepentant over what she has done, the school and the Education Bureau should seriously consider if she is still fit to be a teacher."

A video of the award-winning teacher swearing at police officers over their handling of the dispute between the Falun Gong and members of the Hong Kong Youth Care Association went viral online. A confrontation between her supporters and detractors in Mong Kok on August 4 stoked the controversy.

On Thursday, the school's management committee announced in a statement that the school "regretted" Lam's behaviour and that she would be penalised, without giving details. The statement came after Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying ordered the education minister to submit a report on Lam's case.

Lam said on her Facebook page on Friday a doctor had determined she was in no condition to teach. She said the warning the school had given her was very different from the one it had told the public she would receive.

Lam's supporters took to the streets in Mong Kok yesterday to collect signatures on a petition to back her up.

Speaking on the same RTHK programme, education lawmaker Ip Kin-yuen said: "The police should prevent or prohibit any back-to-school rally that would jeopardise the learning environment of students," he said. "They should also ensure the pupils' safety."