The lawmaker representing the education sector, Ip Kin-yuen, said on Friday that it’s unfair of schools to suspend teachers arrested, but not convicted, over the city's ongoing protests, but he fears the number of such cases will grow.
Police say 70 teachers and teaching assistants have so far been arrested in relation to the city's six months of unrest.
A teacher arrested along with several students in Sheung Shui on Monday has been suspended from his job without pay, after being charged with possessing instruments fit for unlawful purposes – two pairs of scissors, pliers and a wrench.
After appearing on an RTHK programme, Ip said he's worried more teachers will end up being sent home in the future.
"The Education Bureau has publicly urged the school’s management committee to suspend the teacher’s duties, so other schools might follow that example. Not because the decision is good and proper – we have no information about that – but [because of] the influence from the Education Bureau and also the Chief Executive, who said we better make harsher decisions on teachers," he said.
The lawmaker also pointed out that a police officer who repeatedly drove his motorbike into a crowd of protesters in Kwai Fong last month only went on leave and is already back on duty.
Ip told RTHK's Candice Wong that this shows there is no equal treatment when it comes to people accused of being involved in the protests.
Speaking on the same programme, the chairman of Hong Kong Federation of Education Workers, Wong Kam-leung, said the Education Bureau should consider backdating the salary of the suspended teacher if he is eventually found not guilty.