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Korrnell Ritz Academy teacher accused of abusing 19 students in central Taiwan

7 parents come forward to accuse bilingual kindergarten teacher of abusing their children

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(Chang Liao Wan-chien photos)

(Chang Liao Wan-chien photos)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A teacher at a prominent private bilingual kindergarten in Taichung is accused of physically abusing 19 students.

Seven parents of children who attend the Korrnell Ritz Academy kindergarten, which is affiliated with the Korrnell LZ academy elementary school, were accompanied by Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Chang Liao Wan-chien (張廖萬堅) at a press conference on Thursday (Jan. 27). They accused one of the kindergarten's teachers, surnamed Chen (陳), of allegedly assaulting 19 of her students for over a year, reported ETtoday.

Korrnell Ritz Academy teacher accused of abusing 19 students in central Taiwan
(Chang Liao Wan-chien photo)

The parents allege that if the students ate too slowly, did not take their nap, or vomited, Chen would drag them to the restroom and strike them. Chen also allegedly told the children not to tell their parents about the assaults.

The school and Chen acknowledged that she had hit students but claimed that there had only been two incidents. However, Taichung's Department of Education (DOE) has asked the school to relieve Chen from her teaching duties and actively investigate the alleged instances of misconduct.

Korrnell Ritz Academy teacher accused of abusing 19 students in central Taiwan
(Chang Liao Wan-chien photo)

During the press conference, the parents listed the abuse their children had suffered and displayed photos of injuries issued by several hospitals. The injuries included bruises and swelling on their cheeks, noses, hands, and heads, as well as obvious hand-shaped marks on some of the children's backs.

One of the parents was cited by Apple Daily as saying that last year, she found that her daughter had a bruise on her forehead and abrasion at the corner of her mouth. When asked how she had been injured, her daughter said, "The teacher hit me."

Korrnell Ritz Academy teacher accused of abusing 19 students in central Taiwan
(Chang Liao Wan-chien photo)

The mother contacted the school about the incident, but the teacher claimed that she had failed to notice the child when opening a bathroom door and hit her on the head by accident. As for the mark on the girl's mouth, the teacher claimed she had accidentally scratched the pupil with her fingernail.

The DOE stated that it received a call from a parent on the evening of Jan. 24 saying that her daughter had been struck on the cheeks by a female teacher surnamed Chen at the kindergarten, causing them to become red and swollen. The DOE pointed out that the school had only reported one such incident. Later, other parents found that their children had been similarly abused, but they did not notify the department.

Korrnell Ritz Academy teacher accused of abusing 19 students in central Taiwan
(Chang Liao Wan-chien photo)

The department stated that it will intervene in the investigation. If it finds that there has been a violation of Article 49 of the Protection of Children and Youths Welfare and Rights Act (兒童及少年福利與權益保障法), it will be punished in accordance with regulations, and the teacher will be listed as unfit to teach and no longer be allowed work at the kindergarten.

It reiterated its principle of zero tolerance for corporal punishment. The DOE stressed that if a violation of the law has taken place, severe punishment will be handed down and the name of the perpetrator and the owner of the school will be released to the public.

Korrnell Ritz Academy teacher accused of abusing 19 students in central Taiwan
Chen. (Photo from parent of student)