City councilors: School principal victimized in death of girl
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2014-05-08 12:09 PM
Fallout from outrage over the death of an 8 year-old girl from starvation continues to spread. On Wednesday the Administrative Committee of the Taipei City Council directed the city’s district offices to submit special reports in connection with the incident. Council members blasted the city government for meting out after the fact punishments and failing to take any political responsibility. Taipei City Mayor Hau Lung-bin responded that he is ordering a comprehensive review of the compulsory school process to determine whether there are other school-age children in the city who are not in school.

In addition, the Public Functionary Disciplinary Sanction Commission (PFDSC) will review details of the case including actions taken against principal Chi Lu-chen of Hu-lu Elementary School, who has said she is resigning, as well as the heads of the Shihlin District Office and Zhongshan District Office, who each received one demerit for not acting on the girl’s case.

KMT city councilor Chen Cheng-chung questioned whether the Taipei City Government's actions simply parceled out a few punishments to several of the “little guys” involved in the case while doing nothing to ensure that the lives of other children are not in jeopardy. He expressed concern that Chi Lu-chen was being sacrificed to appease public opinion and criticized the city government for issuing penalties but refusing to take any political responsibility.

DPP city councilor Hung Chien-yi criticized district office procedures which left open a window of time in its registration and reporting dates for school-age children where children could be lost or overlooked in the system. Hung said that regardless of who should bear responsibility for the oversight, the important thing is to change the system to prevent any reoccurrences of such a tragedy. He charged that at every level from the household registration agency to the district offices to the Bureaus of Social Affairs and Education “A few screws have worked loose” and said the school principal should not be victimized as a scapegoat in a faulty system.

Taipei Mayor Hau said Thursday morning that the PFDSC will conduct an investigation into the case, including the appropriateness of punishments that have been handed out and who should bear responsibility in the case.

Asked whether any higher-ups will receive punishment in connection with the case, Mayor Hau said the list of punishments is already complete. He said reprimands and demerits have been handed out where there was negligence, and an overall review of relevant procedures will be conducted to ensure that similar tragedies do not occur in the future. He stressed that the government must determine whether there are still any school-age children who have not been enrolled or are not attending classes.

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