'Suspended teacher didn't spot anti-police message' - RTHK
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'Suspended teacher didn't spot anti-police message'

2020-02-24 HKT 16:53
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  • Confucius Hall Secondary School says the acting deputy head will be suspended until a task force completes its investigation into the matter.
    Confucius Hall Secondary School says the acting deputy head will be suspended until a task force completes its investigation into the matter.
A teachers’ union said on Monday that a Causeway Bay teacher who has been suspended for sharing a controversial Facebook post didn't realise it contained a coded message abusing the police force.

The Professional Teachers' Union said it understands that Billy Ho, who works at Confucius Hall Secondary School, forwarded the widely-circulated post because he agreed with its call for unity in facing the coronavirus outbreak.

But he didn't see a hidden message, formed by taking the first Chinese character in each sentence, that calls for the death of relatives of "corrupt police officers", the PTU said.

Ho, an acting deputy head, immediately deleted the post after he learnt about the secret message, the union added.

It called on the school's management to look into the matter fairly.

The school, meanwhile, said Ho would be suspended until a task force completes its investigation into the matter.

It noted that Ho had put the message on his own personal social media account, but said he didn't let the school know about it, or "ask for permission".

The school said it stands by the principle of having no politics on its campus and is against all violent and illegal acts.

The Education Bureau has taken a tough stance against teachers who are arrested or face complaints relating to the anti-government protest movement.

Officials have warned that the professional code for teachers doesn't just regulate their conduct in schools, but also in their private lives, prompting the PTU to accuse the government of infringing on teachers’ freedom of speech.