A Hong Kong teacher who was blinded in one eye with an alleged police projectile during last year’s anti-extradition bill protest has said his contract at an elite school has not been renewed.
Raymond Yeung, a liberal studies teacher at Diocesan Girls’ School, announced on Facebook on Thursday that he will resign early from his role in July, after the school informed him in March that his contract would not be extended and August 31 would be his last day.
According to Yeung, the school told him it would be cancelling liberal studies classes for Form Three students in the upcoming academic year, leading to an excess in manpower. Yeung has taught at the school for four years, but as the one with the least seniority in the liberal studies department, the school decided not to renew his contract. The school added it was a “real and reasonable” reason, and said Yeung could make it public.
“No matter what the reasons are, the reality is, I will become unemployed. Based on the current political environment and my situation, I cannot find a new school,” Yeung wrote.
The liberal studies teacher was arrested on June 12 last year in Admiralty and was detained on suspicion of rioting. But he was released unconditionally in October.
Yeung has said he was hit in the face by a police projectile as police dispersed protesters with tear gas, rubber bullets and bean bags. His right eye only has 2.5 per cent sight remaining, after fragments of his shattered glasses went into his eyes.
The teacher said he did not “resist” the school’s decision, because he also questioned the quality of his teaching, saying his sight loss would significantly reduce his marking ability. He said his participation in social movements had drawn media attention and has affected the school’s image, adding he did not want to upset his students and other teachers.
“After all, I enjoy teaching, [I] hope one day I can return to the education frontline and be a simple teacher. But for that day to come, the order of Hong Kong’s political and education must be rebuilt,” he said.
HKFP has reached out to Diocesan Girls’ School for comment.
On Wednesday, the Education Bureau revealed that 100 primary and secondary teachers and staff have been arrested from June 2019 to May this year in relation to the large-scale pro-democracy protests. Meanwhile, 10 staffers from post-secondary institutions were also arrested.
The bureau said that, if a registered teacher is charged upon arrest – regardless of whether he or she is convicted – the authorities will review whether there is any misconduct, and their registration status will be evaluated as well.
The bureau will also “take action” upon receiving complaints against the arrested teachers, including issuing a reprimand, warning or advisory letter. For serious misconduct cases, the bureau said it may consider cancelling the registration of the teachers concerned or refusing their registration applications. So far, no teacher has lost their registration status.
“We have reiterated that teachers are students’ significant role models and their every word and deed (both inside and outside school) have a far-reaching impact on students,” the bureau wrote.
It added: “Therefore, teachers, whether at school or in their private life, are required to uphold the professional conduct of education, show respect for the law and the behavioural norms acceptable to society.”