Bus attendant fined for slapping pupil

Leong warned the pupil not to tell anyone she had been slapped but she did not realise that four of the victim's schoolmates had seen what she had done.
Leong warned the pupil not to tell anyone she had been slapped but she did not realise that four of the victim's schoolmates had seen what she had done.ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW

A school bus attendant who slapped a nine-year-old pupil on her cheeks was fined $1,000 yesterday.

Leong Siew Yin, 46, admitted to hurting the Primary 4 pupil at the school hall on Jan 30 last year.

The school and the victim cannot be named due to a gag order.

Two other charges of using criminal force by pulling the girl by her uniform collar were taken into consideration during sentencing.

A court heard that two days before the incident, Leong received a call from a teacher saying that the bus attendant's daughter, who was in the same school, had disturbed and scolded the pupil in question.

She received another complaint from the teacher the next day.

On Jan 30, at about 1.20pm, the principal and vice-principal of the school met and spoke to Leong, as they had received complaints and feedback concerning her own behaviour towards the victim.

This included Leong scolding the pupil and pulling her by her uniform collar.

About 20 minutes later, Leong approached the victim at the canteen and told her to follow her to the school hall.

The girl sensed that something was amiss and tried to leave but Leong pulled her by the collar to the back of the hall where she slapped her four times on her cheeks.

She warned the girl not to tell anyone about the incident but she did not realise that four of the victim's schoolmates had seen what she had done.

The next day, the girl told her mother, who subsequently lodged a police report.

In mitigation, Leong's Criminal Legal Aid Scheme-assigned lawyer Lau Wen Jin said his client was suffering financial hardship.

He also said Leong had two daughters to care for and that she currently earns $200 in an unspecified part-time job.

He said the girl had suffered only slight harm and there was no abuse of authority on Leong's part.

Leong could have been jailed for up to two years and/or fined up to $5,000.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 08, 2016, with the headline 'Bus attendant fined for slapping pupil'. Print Edition | Subscribe