Activist teacher vows to fight 'political pressure'

May 19, 2015 12:26
Alpais Lam Wai-sze (right) says relentless pressure from the school and apathy from her colleagues nearly drove her to commit suicide. Photo: Metro Daily

An award-winning teacher is defying the school administration and vowing to "teach until I die" after accusing her employer of relentless political pressure.

Alpais Lam Wai-sze, who teaches in Pui Ling School of the Precious Blood in Hong Kong's Fanling district, issued a statement in which she accused the school of suppressing her freedom of speech, Apple Daily reported Tuesday.

She said she will not cave to political pressure and reached out to Cardinal Joseph Zen, an outspoken Hong Kong bishop, for help.

Lam has had discussions with her employer at least 10 times, none of which was job-related, the report said.

She said the meetings centered on her participation in the Occupy Central movement, a key player in last year's democracy protests, and on a speech she made to protesters.

Lam, a 2010 recipient of the Chief Executive Award for Teaching Excellence and an 18-year teaching veteran, said that if she quits under pressure, other teachers in similar situations could be targeted by their employers.

She criticized the Hong Kong Professional Teachers’ Union (HKPTU), saying it did not contact her or investigate the matter.

In a recent Facebook post, Lam said unrelenting pressure from the school and apathy from her colleagues nearly drove her to commit suicide.

She said she will file a formal complaint to HKPTU on Wednesday and might bring her case to anti-discrimination authorities.

Meanwhile, Lam said she will "continue teaching until I die”.

On Monday a group of 20 supporters held a protest outside the school as several plainclothes policemen watched and school staff videotaped the rally.

Lam was involved in an incident on July 14, 2013 where she was seen shouting profanity at police officers.

She accused them of standing back while a pro-communist group attacked members of Falun Gong, a Chinese spiritual organization opposed to religious repression in the mainland.

The incident, which was caught in a viral video, sparked protests by Lam's supporters and opponents.

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