Promotion for teacher who attacked doctor concerns public

Hospital attack makes teacher unfit for senior title, according to some citizens, while others say she should be given a chance as she had made amends.

Education authorities in Minhang District are checking the qualifications of a teacher at a local school after claims that because she had attacked a doctor in 2015 she was unfit for promotion.

Minhang District Education Bureau said it had received telephone calls from local citizens who had noticed that Miao Xian, a Chinese teacher at Wenlai Middle School, was on a list of teachers to be promoted to senior titles on a Shanghai Human Resource and Social Security Bureau website.

The list was posted on Sina Weibo by concerned citizens who pointed out that Miao had attacked a doctor who refused to treat her as an emergency patient at the Shanghai International Peace Maternity and Child Health Hospital on September 26 in 2015, breaking the doctor’s nose and causing other medical problems.

They argued that Miao was morally unqualified to be a teacher and should have been fired, rather than considered for promotion.

“Such a person with a propensity for violence is no longer suitable for teaching and no parents would like to have their children taught by her,” one Weibo user posted.

But others said the professional title was in recognition of her teaching ability and she should be given a chance if she had made amends for her wrongdoing.

According to police, Miao required emergency treatment but the doctor said she should go instead to the outpatient department. The dispute escalated and both were injured in an ensuing fight.

Later a settlement was reached in which Miao paid 200,000 yuan (US$31,000) compensation to the doctor and her school also apologized for her behavior.

Miao also aroused public concern after the attack when she applied for Shanghai hukou, or permanent residence, in 2016. Her eligibility was questioned by the public for the same reason. Miao withdrew her application for “personal reasons.”

Wang Zhengping, director of the Shanghai Teacher’s Morality Assessment Center, said teachers should play the role of moral models both at school and in their daily lives because their behavior had a great influence on students and society.

“Teachers should not turn wilful and lower requirements on themselves out of school,” he said.

But he also said the public should allow teachers who made mistakes to mend their ways.

“There should be a process for teachers to develop their own morality and we should give them the chance to correct and develop themselves,” he said.

Sociologist Hu Shensheng also said the public had higher expectations and requirements on teachers who educated the next generation than ordinary workers in terms of morality, including professional ethics, family virtues and social morality.

But he pointed out that the requirement for professional titles focus more on professional ethics, such as teaching skills, caring for children and a passion for teaching.

He also said punishment for misconduct should not be interminable and there should be a mechanism to assess how well a person had corrected a wrongdoing.

“Students who are punished with warnings or demerit records are not going to be excluded for appraisal activities, such as outstanding students selection after the end of the punishment," he said. “The rule should be same when it comes to teachers.”

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