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Korrnell Ritz Academy fined NT$190,000 for abuse of students in central Taiwan

Bilingual kindergarten banned from admitting new students for one year, teacher barred from working in kindergartens in future

(Facebook, Korrnell Ritz Academy photo)

(Facebook, Korrnell Ritz Academy photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A prominent private bilingual kindergarten has been handed an NT$190,000 (US$6,800) fine and barred from recruiting new students for one year after a teacher was found to have abused her students.

Seven parents of children who attend the Korrnell Ritz Academy kindergarten, which is affiliated with the Korrnell LZ Academy elementary school, on Jan. 27 accused one of the kindergarten's teachers, surnamed Chen (陳), of assaulting 19 of her students for over the course of a year. The parents allege that if the students ate too slowly, did not take a nap, or vomited, Chen would take them to the restroom and strike them.

After Taichung's Department of Education (DOE) conducted a preliminary investigation, it confirmed that Chen had mistreated her students and announced that she is unfit to serve as an educator and should no longer work in any kindergartens in the country, reported the Liberty Times. In addition, the DOE determined that there had been a number of other violations, such as non-compliance with teacher-student ratio regulations, admission of students without having qualified child caregivers, and concealment of the mistreatment of young children.

According to the DOE, a class of more than 15 students should have two child caregivers, but the school had only employed one and brought in a foreign teacher for language instruction. For these infractions, the DOE has issued a fine of NT$190,000 on the school and ordered that it suspend its recruitment of students for one year.

The DOE stated that it received a call from a mother on 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. DOE Deputy Director Yeh Chun-chieh (葉俊傑) was cited by the newspaper as saying that Chen had confessed to abusing the children and warned them not to tell their parents.

For violating the Protection of Children and Youths Welfare and Rights Act (兒童及少年福利與權益保障法), Chen faces a fine of between NT$60,000 and NT$600,000.