SCMP Thursday, January 11, 2001

Children questioned over chopping attack on teacher


Four primary school pupils were questioned by police yesterday in connection with a chopping attack on their school's discipline teacher.
The students, aged over 10, were picked up yesterday morning at the Hong Kong Vernacular Normal Schools Alumni Association School in Mongkok.
A police officer said the children's parents accompanied them to the headquarters of Hong Kong Island regional crime office in High Street, Sai Ying Poon. They were released unconditionally at about 3pm.
Yuen Fuk-wing, 53, who teaches senior students maths and physical education and is also a discipline teacher, was chopped on her left arm on the way to school after she stepped out from a block of flats in Whitfield Road, Causeway Bay, at about 7.30am on Tuesday.
A motorcycle drove past and a knife-wielding passenger jumped off and attacked her. The pair fled on the bike.
Yesterday afternoon, Ms Yuen, who suffered three wounds to her left arm, was in stable condition after surgery at Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital.
It is believed the attack could be linked to the confiscation of a portable CD player from a student before Christmas.
Principal Sum Mun-wai said she had no idea of the motive behind the attack and declined to comment on whether the assault was connected to Ms Yuen's work. "Disciplinary affairs are handled by a group of teachers and she shouldn't be specifically targeted."
The Education Department sent psychologists to counsel students and teachers. A letter was sent to parents expressing shock and regret.
Ms Yuen is a member of the Professional Teachers' Union executive committee and is the union's welfare department vice-director. Union president Cheung Man-kwong said Ms Yuen had told him she had been having problems with disciplinary matters. "She said she had had trouble dealing with some pupils who had close ties with youth gangs."
Ms Sum said the school did not have a major disciplinary problem and no triad infiltration had been noted. "Our school is clean in the records kept by Mongkok police station."