Viral videos of Hong Kong teachers striking students cause outrage

By Ben Pang
By Ben Pang |

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Two Youtube videos showing a secondary teacher twisting students’ ears and hitting them with a ruler have gone viral, sparking outrage despite being deleted last week.

The first video shows a teacher named Au-Yeung pulling a student’s ear and hitting his head many times while teaching Chinese pronunciation in a non-Chinese class at Tung Chung Catholic School (TCCS) on May 5. Instead of encouraging and helping him, the teacher says things such as “useless”, and “drilling you with my pen” when the student cannot pronounce a Chinese word correctly.

The teacher in another video tapped a student’s head twice with a ruler, but then struck him many times as the student was playing with toys instead of concentrating on his class work. When the teacher then warned: “I will destroy your toys if you don’t put them away,” the student got up and picked up his chair as if to throw it at the teacher. Fortunately he was only joking, and both sides ended up laughing.

TCCS vice principal Wan Siu-keung insisted that the school has strict guidelines on how to settle disputes and treat students appropriately.

“Twisting students’ ears is unacceptable and teachers should have avoided doing this. But I emphasise that the teacher hasn’t proposed to carry out any corporal punishment. We also haven’t received any complaints by students who are involved in this issue,” said Wan.

Wan also explained that the student lifted the chair only for playful purposes. “The teacher has been teaching him for more than three years and they have a harmonious relationship. The student by no means attempted to attack the teacher,” he said.

The school will remind the teachers of the proper ways of instructions.

According to the Code for the Education Profession of Hong Kong, teachers should avoid making students feel embarrassed or ashamed. They should place more emphasis on maintaining students’ self-respect and healthy development.