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Letter of the week: Teachers should be well protected from abusive parents and students

I refer to the article on the mental health crisis among South Korean teachers following the death of a 23-year-old teacher by suicide (Mental health crisis among S. Korean teachers may lead to collapse of education system, doctors warn, Sept 5).

Teachers in Singapore may not be prepared for how parents, who are increasingly more well- educated and affluent, may react in certain situations and may unwittingly “offend” certain groups of parents when they do not mean to do so.

With the influence of social media and a sense of entitlement, some parents or students may be too vindictive in their complaints against teachers. This can undermine the teachers’ authority. 

Parents should refer matters via proper channels if they have complaints against teachers.

More importantly, they should also reflect whether the issue is with themselves or their child.

Teachers should be protected from abusive parents and students. We should not let the abuser get away with a warning.

Vindictive parents can post abusive comments on the Internet and the teacher may have to carry the stigma for years.

We should not wait till the situation is as bad as in South Korea to take stronger measures.

My children have been fortunate to meet teachers who care for them and their studies, and l give them full support when they ensure my children behave properly in school.

If things go wrong with a child, why should the teacher take the blame when it is the parents who should be responsible for their own children?

Tan Kok Hong

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