A teacher at a Tseung Kwan O tutoring centre has admitted going “overboard’ by forcing a student he said was naughty to stand outside the classroom whilst holding a chair above his head as punishment. The Education Bureau has said they will look into the incident.

On Monday afternoon, a boy in primary school uniform was seen holding a green plastic chair above his head outside a classroom at a tutoring centre in Tiu Keng Leng, Tseung Kwan O. Since the tutoring centre had glass windows, the incident was clearly visible to passers-by at the mall, Apple Daily reported.

The tutoring centre in Tseung Kwan O. Photo: Apple Daily.

Mr Lai, the teacher who punished the boy, said that the child had misbehaved lately, creating a disturbance in the classroom which affected the other students. He therefore asked him to stand outside the classroom to reflect upon his actions. However, following that, Lai said that the boy continued to move chairs around, and – out of anger – he told the boy to hold the chair over his head.

Lai admitted that he went overboard and promised not to do so again. He also said that he had told the child’s parents what happened after the incident. Parents of the students of Lai’s class said that he usually taught well and adored the students. Education sector lawmaker Ip Kin-yuen said that he hoped teachers would try to correct student behaviour rather than take out their emotions on them when handing out punishments.

The child was seen holding a chair above his head as punishment. Photo: Apple Daily.

The Education Bureau said that they would stay in touch with the school and provide support and assistance. According to the Code for the Education Profession of Hong Kong guidelines, teachers should maintain discipline whilst taking into consideration students’ self-esteem and health. They should also avoid humiliating them.


Karen is a journalist and writer covering politics and legal affairs in Hong Kong for HKFP. She has also written features on human rights, public space, regional legal developments, social and grassroots activism, and arts & culture. She is a BA and LLB graduate from the University of Hong Kong.