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Bill passed to deter sexual bullying in schools

2011/06/07 18:53:55

Taipei, June 7 (CNA) The Legislative Yuan passed a draftamendment Tuesday that will deal harshly with those who condonesexual assault, bullying and harassment in schools.

Under the amendment to the Gender Equality Education Act, schoolfaculty, including the principal, will be fined between NT$30,000 andNT$150,000 (US$5,172) if they fail to report and publicly react to asexual assault, bullying or harassment incident within 24 hours ofits occurrence on campus.

Faculty members could be fired or face suspension if they condoneor hide the crimes, or help destroy evidence after the incidentsoccur repeatedly.

Students who lodge verbal attacks on peers over their genderorientation or homosexuality could face severe penalties, includingbeing dismissed from school.

The legislature also passed a resolution Tuesday that bans schoolauthorities from punishing students if their hair styles or clothingdo not comply with gender norms.

The amendment was passed in a bid to enhance gender equalityeducation and gay friendliness in schools in response to an onlinesurvey conducted in May. That survey found 30 percent of the nearly1,000 respondents said they had been sexually bullied in junior highschool, while another 20 percent said they had suffered a similarfate in elementary school.

(By Ho Meng-kuei and Deborah Kuo)