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School CP - 1999

Hong Kong Standard, 21 January 1999

Boys beaten over homework

By Julie Chu

A MAGISTRATE remanded two women tutors for beating two of their young wards who had failed to do their homework properly.

The beatings left two boys, aged 7 and 9, with bruises on their buttocks.

"I can find 11 bruises on the two kids," John Brennan of Eastern Magistracy said after examining a picture of the two boys. "In my mind, it is terrible and unbelievable."

He doubted whether Tang Chun-kuen, 36, and Cheung Yin-mei, 22, who were both untrained and unqualified as tutors, could take care for students without supervision by the Education Department.

The magistrate was told that, by law, classes of under 20 students had no need to register with the department.

Mr Brennan said school and supplementary classes should be safe places for children to learn, and this appeared to be something the government should look into.

He adjourned sentencing until 11 February for psychiatric and psychological reports.

Tang and Cheung had each pleaded guilty to one count of assaulting the two schoolboys at a Tuen Mun tutorial centre last year.

The court heard the two victims were brothers studying in Primary 2 and Primary 4.

Their mother had high expectations for the boys and sent them to the tutorial centre for extra classes.

Tang found the younger brother failed to do his homework properly on 28 September and gave the younger brother five strokes on the buttocks with a metallic ruler.

She also put paper clips on his ear lobes as punishment. At almost the same time, Cheung used a feather duster handle to give the older brother six to seven strokes on the buttocks for the same reason.

When the boys' mother picked them up after classes, she found they had both serious bruises.

But the matter was not reported to the police until a social worker at their school noticed the boys' injuries.

The boys were sent to Tuen Mun Hospital where they were found to have bruises on their buttocks and thighs.

The tutors told the magistrate they beat the boys in "momentary anger".

They said the boys could not catch up with their lessons and their mother had agreed for them to be punished on several occasions.

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Colin Farrell