Hong Kong teacher visited foot massage parlour not prostitutes on Wuhan study trip, says Facebook post

Hong Kong teacher visited foot massage parlour not prostitutes on Wuhan study trip, says Facebook post

A Hong Kong teacher, said to have been arrested in mainland China for soliciting prostitutes during a study tour to Wuhan, went to a foot massage parlour and had helped with a police investigation, according to an online post written by someone claiming to be the teacher’s colleague.

The male secondary school teacher from CUHKFAA Thomas Cheung Secondary School was at the foot massage parlour “during his free time” when police conducted a surprise operation there, the Facebook message said.

“He and the other customers at the parlour were thus invited to the police station to assist the investigation,” the post on an education group with 16,000 followers explained.

The person who wrote the post identified herself as Chan Tsz-wai, a retired athlete and the male teacher’s colleague at the school. Checks by the Post showed the name matched that of a female teacher shown on the school’s website.

The drama unfolded when internet users in WhatsApp groups and on LIHKG, an online forum in Hong Kong similar to Reddit, claimed over the weekend that a teacher had been arrested on the mainland over vice activities.

The teacher, whose school is located in Tin Shui Wai in the New Territories, returned to Hong Kong on Sunday morning. Other participants came back after the four-day tour to Wuhan ended on Saturday.

The Education Bureau on Monday did not specify that he had already returned to the city. While it neither confirmed nor denied the allegation that the teacher had solicited prostitutes, the bureau said the school and the teacher were required to submit a report, as the authorities “attached great importance to the discipline of those joining the tour”.

But the post written by Chan accused the bureau of not promptly providing media outlets with the most updated information on her male colleague’s return, even though two of its staff had been with him throughout the day before.

“It is chilling that [the bureau] as an official body only responded with partial facts,” Chan wrote.

The teacher works at CUHKFAA Thomas Cheung Secondary School, located in Tin Shui Wai in the New Territories. Photo: Wikipedia

Meanwhile, according to a message screenshot circulated online on Tuesday, the teacher in question told his colleagues that he was brought to a police station to assist the investigation on Friday night, and that he had not been charged, fined or detained before being escorted by two officers from the Education Bureau back to Hong Kong on Sunday.

“There are growing rumours against me and no lack of speculation from all directions, therefore I want to clarify things … I hope [my message] will stop unnecessary rumours as I am now in close communication with relevant departments of the Education Bureau,” he said.

A school notice issued to parents on Monday said the teacher had reported that information circulating online was “not accurate”, although it did not give a specific reason for his delayed return.

Chan’s online post said two bureau officials accompanied her colleague back to Hong Kong. It also accused other teachers in the tour group of fabricating the story and spreading rumours online.

“Over 100 people participated in this exchange programme, so you can imagine how serious the subsequent cyberbullying became,” she said.

The post added that the school’s principal had held a meeting with all of the teachers to explain the incident and counselling was provided to the entire student body.

Chan said her colleague was well-liked by pupils and had won awards.

“He is an upright person who cares for students. You can imagine the immense harm this incident has caused to the person involved and our school,” her message said.

Vice-principal Lee Shut-fai said in a separate statement that the school had filed a report with its board of directors and had set up a task force to follow up on the matter while maintaining close contact with the bureau.

The study tour last week was organised for newly recruited teachers and included visits to schools, high-end technology companies and institutions, among other events.



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