Penang teacher gets yellow card over ‘I love Israel’ Facebook uproar

The alleged screen capture of the ‘I love Israel’ post from the teen’s Facebook was uploaded by a teacher onto her own Facebook page, with a comment in Malay saying: ‘My student likes Israel? How shameful for me. — file pic
The alleged screen capture of the ‘I love Israel’ post from the teen’s Facebook was uploaded by a teacher onto her own Facebook page, with a comment in Malay saying: ‘My student likes Israel? How shameful for me. — file pic

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GEORGE TOWN, Aug 13 — A teacher from Simpang Ampat who triggered an immolation threat after allegedly linking an “I love Israel” Facebook page to her student has been warned she might be transferred to another school.

Penang Education Department director Osman Hussain said today the department takes a serious view of the incident that now involves a police investigation, adding that the secondary school teacher has been reminded of the consequences if she posts any further rant against her students online.

“Let this also be a warning to all teachers in Penang not to go to Facebook and post rants against their students there,” he told Malay Mail Online when contacted today.

He also said the department is now holding talks with the school management, the teachers, the students and parents involved to resolve the controversy amicably but warned it will pass similar incidents in future to the police for action.

Osman said teachers must remember that no matter how “stupid or bad” a student, they hold a responsibility to educate and lead by good example.

“We are living in Malaysia, so we must have mutual respect for each other despite our differences so the students also should be made aware of this,” he said.

He added that his department will be sending out a circular to remind all schools in the state to encourage closer ties, mutual respect, tolerance and understanding between teachers and students.

A 17-year-old student sought police help this week after getting threats on the social network site when his teacher allegedly circulated a picture of his Facebook page claiming the teen “liked” the controversial post.

The teacher had reposted a screencapture of the “I love Israel” post from the teen’s Facebook on her own account, and commented in Malay: “My student likes Israel? How shameful for me”.

The teacher’s post prompted criticism against the student from other Facebook users, including one other teacher who wrote in Malay: “Kita bakor je hahaha [We just burn hahaha]”.

Osman said his department has offered to counsel the traumatised fifth former who now fears going to school with the threats hanging over his head.

The student who will be sitting for his SPM this year is now being investigated by the police for sedition.

The police however said they are also investigating the alleged threats against the teen.

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