TAIPEI (Taiwan News)—The family of a hearing-impaired child exposed a 52-year-old female Taiwanese teacher surnamed Hsieh for discriminating against their hearing-impaired child in class and forcing him to remove his hearing aids, reported the local Chinese-language media Apple Daily.
The 8-year-old school boy surnamed Huang was diagnosed at a very young age as being unable to hear sounds in a certain frequency range, and has been wearing hearing aids since his last year at kindergarten, said his father.
Preschools and kindergartens are on a three year basis in Taiwan, starting at the age of four where children typically graduate by the age of six.
Even with the help of the hearing aids that cost the boy's family NT$90,000 (US$ 2,985) to purchase, the boy can only hear sounds within a range of three to five meters, said the senior Huang.
Hence, most teachers were willing to meet the child’s special needs by using FM wireless microphones during lectures, and the boy has been a hardworking model student during his first two years in elementary school.
However, Hsieh refused to use FM wireless microphones in class, and demanded the boy remove his hearing aid insisting “if she stood closer he could hear,” and “I'm right next to you how come you can't hear me?” said the heartbroken parent.
The teacher insisted even when the boy responded: “It's not like I'm wearing earphones to listen to music. There is a lot of noise interference when I'm not wearing the hearing aid.”
The boy's homeroom teacher sitting at the back of the classroom, immediately rushed forward to stop Hsu from further insulting and causing psychological harm to the child, remarking “how can you demand a student to remove their hearing aid!”
The two broke into a heated argument that frightened the 20 students in the class and made the boy refuse to attend school the next day.
Hsieh, a divorcee with one daughter, has been teaching for 20 years, and took a leave of absence five years ago for further studies in the U.S.
She returned to the school in August 2016, but has a notorious reputation for poor communication skills with parents and schoolchildren, with numerous complaints filed against her brought to the school's attention, said the school principle.
The unnamed school notified the Ministry of Education about the situation, which formed a special investigation task force that concluded Hsieh’s actions were detrimental to the student's health, said the school principal surnamed Lee.
The unnamed elementary school is evaluating whether to fire the teacher, who has a record of inappropriate behavior in class.
In March, the school followed standard procedures outlined in the Teachers' Act (教師法) for handling incompetent teachers, and the teacher is receiving two months of counseling before the school organizes a last teacher evaluation committee to decide whether to dismiss Hsieh.
The senior Huang claims the "teacher is clearly unsuitable for the job!"