Complaints against Hong Kong teacher who swore at police upheld ... four years after protest
Education Bureau says her actions during Falun Gong dispute had ‘affected the dignity of the education profession’
A primary school teacher caught on camera swearing at police over their handling of a dispute between activists of the Falun Gong spiritual movement and opponents in 2013 was found to have breached professional codes of conduct.
After a four-year wait, Alpais Lam Wai-sze said she finally received the letter from the Education Bureau on Friday stating that three complaints filed to the teachers’ disciplinary board claiming she had breached the code had been substantiated.
The code says teachers should refrain from activities that could damage the image of the profession and respect the law.
The bureau said it had reviewed the complaints from the statutory Council on Professional Conduct in Education and found her actions had “affected the honour, dignity and ethics of the education profession”.
“This bureau agrees with the council’s recommendations,” the letter read.
It requested Lam to maintain her professional obligations, pay attention to the requirements of the code and “strive to maintain the proper conduct of an educator”.
Lam, a teacher at Pui Ling School of the Precious Blood in Fanling, posted a picture of the letter on her Facebook page and said she had cried for a whole night.
“What now Ng Hak-kim! What about your conduct? You’ve messed with me for so many years,” she wrote in reference to the former education minister.
The letter did not mention any suggestion of punishment but Lam said she would probably “never get a promotion” for the rest of her career.
“Don’t worry about me, I won’t be killed off. We are engaged in a war of longevity with an unjust society,” she said in a Facebook live video later.
“If the government doesn’t want us in the education sector to criticise the government or police enforcement or Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor or Xi Jinping ... then why not we just cancel all electoral processes and go back to a monarchy?”
Lam shot to fame in July 2013 after a video showing her verbally abusing police over their handling of a confrontation between the Falun Gong and the pro-Beijing Youth Care Association in Mong Kok went viral. One clip showed Lam shouting an offensive phrase in English. She later apologised for her behaviour.
The online fracas ignited a headed debate and prompted a rally three weeks later that descended into a brawl between Lam’s supporters and detractors. After the incident Lam was penalised by her school board and also received death threats.
Weeks later, former chief executive Leung Chun-ying controversially ordered Ng to submit a report on Lam’s behaviour.
At the time Ng said a report on the incident would be compiled in accordance with established procedures and involve the management and school board. A report would then be submitted to the bureau.