Former, current school employees punished over sexual misconduct case

12/29/2020 11:30 PM
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Image taken from Unsplash
Image taken from Unsplash

Tainan, Dec. 29 (CNA) A total of 20 current and former employees at two Tainan elementary schools have received reprimands for failing to report the sexual misconduct of a colleague over a period spanning two decades, local authorities said Tuesday.

The sexual misconduct by Chang Po-sheng (張博勝), a recipient of the Tainan City-held Outstanding Teacher Award, began in 2000 but did not come to light until 2020 when he was indicted over a sexual harassment case dating back to 2017, according to the Tainan District Court.

A total of 31 students have been identified as Chang's victims, according to the court.

After conducting its own investigation into the cases, Tainan City Government's Bureau of Education said Tuesday that a total of 17 individuals still employed as educators, including a school principal and homeroom teachers, were aware of Chang's misconduct but failed to notify related authorities in a timely manner and have been punished.

The bureau said, the 51-year-old was dismissed from his post in May 2020 and banned from being employed as a teacher at educational institutions nationwide.

The outstanding teacher recognition Chang received has been revoked and he is required to return his prize money and certificate, the bureau added.

One school principal received a demerit and has been told he will be transferred, the bureau said, adding that three retired teachers have also been asked to return their year-end bonuses and performance review bonuses paid during the years they failed to report Chang's misconduct.

According to the Control Yuan, which concluded an investigation into the case in July, Chang committed a total of 32 sexual assaults or incidences of sexual harassment, with a total of 31 victims identified.

Chang was also involved in an additional nine cases where he issued inappropriate physical punishments to 29 students, in addition to other misconduct, the watchdog branch of the central government said.

To prevent any re-occurrence of similar incidents, Tainan City Government's Bureau of Education said it has teamed up with schools in the city to institutionalize sexual misconduct investigation and disciplinary proceedings, while regulations, including one requiring that students never be left alone in a classroom with a teacher, have also been put in place.

In October, 2020, the Taiwan Tainan District Court sentenced Chang to four years and 10 months in prison for misconduct spanning 20 years, which involved kissing female students and touching their private parts.

Chang is currently appealing the decision to the Tainan Branch of the Taiwan High Court.

(By Yang Sz-ruei and Chung Yu-chen)

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