'Eighty teachers arrested over protests since June' - RTHK
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'Eighty teachers arrested over protests since June'

2019-12-20 HKT 18:49
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  • 'Eighty teachers arrested over protests since June'
Education Secretary Kevin Yeung revealed on Friday that 80 teachers have been arrested so far since the anti-government protests began in June, as he reiterated call for schools to suspend those suspected of serious offences.

Speaking at a press conference, Yeung said the bureau has issued letters to all schools urging them to “sternly” handle teachers who have been arrested for serious offences, saying while they are not presumed to be guilty, suspending their duties is necessary to protect students.

He said one government school teacher – despite not having been arrested – has already been suspended and is facing a disciplinary investigation for allegedly using inappropriate teaching materials.

Yeung brushed aside criticism that teachers' rights are being suppressed, saying they are expected to adhere to a higher moral standard both inside classrooms and in their private lives.

“If we notice that the teachers have breached the professional conducts, we take it very seriously," said Yeung.

"When we talk about the messages or the remarks they made, we are not talking about just their political opinions, we are talking about their hate messages and some of them are very improper if judged by the standard in the society”, he said.

The education chief added that the government has received 123 complaints regarding teachers' misconduct as of June, and it has so far finished looking into around 70 cases.

Among them, 13 teachers have already been censured, mostly for making hate-inciting or discriminatory remarks online, and they have been given condemnation or warning letters.

Yueng said 30 teachers have been cleared after investigation, while 31 face a further probe.