Teacher admits using racial slurs
Thu, Aug 07, 2008
The New Straits Times

BANTING, MALAYSIA : A secondary school teacher here has admitted to using racial slurs and verbally abusing some students.

State Education Department director Ashah Samah said the teacher admitted to saying the words when questioned yesterday.

She said the teacher would be transferred to another school in the district and would undergo counselling.

Ashah added that she would personally counsel the teacher as she felt her actions were very much against the principles and duties of a teacher.

She said the 35-year-old History teacher was good in her work and as this was her first offence, she was given a second chance.

"This should not be a case of taking revenge but to reform and to make her understand such racial sentiments were not acceptable.

"If she repeats it, then more severe action will be taken against her. We will watch her closely and may even place another teacher to sit in the class with her."

However, she admitted that finding a new school for the teacher was not an easy task as schools may be reluctant to accept a problematic teacher.

Meanwhile, the Coalition of Indian Non-governmental Organisations secretary, G. Gunaraj, said transferring the teacher was not the solution.

"Moving her elsewhere is even worse as she can start the verbal abuse all over again in a different environment. She needs to undergo counselling to control her emotions.

"If she is unable to control her emotions, how can she teach?" he asked.

Another solution would be to place her in a desk job.

In the incident last month, the teacher allegedly entered a Form Five class and called the students using a derogatory word. She also accused them of being gangsters and thieves.

She was also alleged to have ordered the boys to do push-ups. When some of them could not do so, she allegedly stomped on their backs.

The second incident allegedly happened five days later in a Form Four class where she taught History. She allegedly told the students that she "wanted to test their level of patience" and began abusing them with derogatory words. She even wrote the words on the blackboard.

Two students lodged police reports against the teacher. On Monday, about 500 parents and members of the public gathered to protest in front of the school.


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