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Hong Kong schools

Mother of boy, 7, who had surgery to remove eraser tip from ear after bullying incident, vows to transfer son to new school

Pupil has been discharged after operation, but hearing in right ear is still temporarily impaired

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 21 November, 2017, 12:10pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 21 November, 2017, 9:46pm

The mother of a seven-year-old boy who had to have a pencil eraser tip surgically removed from his ear after a bullying incident vowed on Tuesday to transfer her son to another school.

Despite assurances from the management, the parent felt the school had been “beating around the bush” with respect to her complaints, and that she had been kept in the dark about its investigation into the incident.

Education sector lawmaker Ip Kin-yuen described the incident as serious but stressed that time was needed for the school to get to the bottom of the matter as well as counsel those involved.

Police were alerted on Friday after the mother claimed that her son, a primary one pupil at the Church of Christ in China Hoh Fuk Tong Primary School in Tuen Mun, had been the subject of repeated bullying.

Hong Kong police probe vicious bullying incident at Tuen Mun primary school

Apart from someone sticking a pencil eraser tip in his right ear canal, the boy also complained of being poked in the eye and slapped in the face.

Doctors had to perform surgery on Saturday to remove the eraser. The boy has since been discharged from hospital, but hearing in his right ear is still temporarily impaired.

Speaking during a radio phone-in programme on Tuesday, the mother, surnamed Yu, became emotional and wept as she recalled the incident.

“I have spoken to his class teacher, but only to be told twice that there were no bullying incidents at school,” she said.

Yu said that before being bullied, her child had longed for primary school life, even drawing a picture of his new school in September and putting it on the wall.

“Now I don’t know when he will recover from the emotional trauma,” she said.

Another parent, whose daughter studies at the same school and is friends with the victim, said he was “disgusted” after hearing what the teachers told the children following the incident.

He said his daughter’s teacher told the class: “Do you think he could have kept silent for days if the eraser was really stuck in his ear?”

Headmistress Chau Yam-ling said on Monday that there were “no previous signs” that the boy had been targeted until the injury emerged last week.

She also claimed that the school had not acted on the initial complaints because there were “more urgent matters” to deal with.

Education minister Kevin Yeung Yun-hung pledged to adopt a “zero tolerance” approach when handling the incident, stressing that the Education Bureau had guidelines and training for schools and teachers on how to handle such incidents.