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Handcuffing teacher for imposing discipline is unthinkable
Published on: Sunday, December 31, 2017

By Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye

A teacher was recently charged in court for slapping a pupil who allegedly committed an offence at Sekolah Kebangsaan Taman Semarak, Nilai in April.

Although the teacher, Azizan Manap or Cikgu Azizan, was charged on Oct 31, his case only made the headlines when it went viral on social media and was shared through the hashtag #PrayForCikguAzizan.

Azizan was charged under Section 323 of the Penal Code in the Seremban Magistrate’s Court with deliberately injuring his pupil at the school assembly area at 7am on April 6. If found guilty, Azizan would have faced a maximum jail term of one year or a fine of RM2,000 or both. However, the same court discharged him without amounting to acquittal.

I’m very concerned about the effects of this case which would undoubtedly undermine the spirit of educators in disciplining their students. What’s more, Azizan was reportedly handcuffed and placed with 13 other detainees who were involved in serious criminal offences after the first hearing of the case in October.

The magistrate also set the bail for Azizan at RM500.

Students with disciplinary problems should be viewed seriously and dealt with by all parties, especially teachers and parents. Immediate action should be taken to ensure that violent behaviour among students is nipped in the bud.

The inability of school administrations to punish students due to the intervention of their over-protective parents is among the factors that encourage them to have no respect for their teachers.

In this regard, all parties must support the proposal to introduce a code of ethics for parents/guar­dians as soon as possible to protect teachers. This can be used as guidelines for parents or guardians when dealing with teachers.

The code of ethics should also outline the types of punishment that can be meted out to students so that they are not injured or suffer from prolonged trauma.

Parents should be involved in the disciplinary process of, and should always be informed of the offences committed by their children. This is to avoid claims that they are not aware of their children’s disciplinary problems.

I have learnt that many schools are now using social media and communication apps like Facebook, WhatsApp and Telegram to establish a close relationship with parents. This should be emulated by others so that the school authorities can communicate with parents to update them on the latest student-related issues.

Law enforcers must also help the school authorities to curb disciplinary problems through more effective enforcement and awareness campaigns in schools.

It cannot be denied that lack of discipline among students will bring serious problems to the country in future.

Just imagine what would happen to our society if glue sniffing and other disciplinary problems are already rampant among pupils in primary schools.

Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye
Senior Vice Chairman
Malaysia Crime Prevention Foundation

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